As final exams quickly approach, so does the dreaded need to study. If you're one of those people who will collapse into a mess of distraction if you have any noise near you at all while you study, read no further. But if you're someone who can focus with music (or who just needs a quick dance party break every once in a while from your work), give some of these songs a listen. As modern rock songs from both more well-known bands and independent artists, they may not all be familiar, but perhaps they'll give you some new music in this particular genre to check out. They're also guaranteed to raise your final exam score by one letter grade (just kidding). But they will, hopefully, make the process a little more bearable and maybe, maybe even a bit fun.
"Art School," by Frankie Cosmos
Though none of us are in art school, there are plenty of lyrics in this song which are still quite applicable to our situation, namely, "high school makes you crazy/high school made me want to cry." Though it's not the most hopeful of sentiments, it's definitely relatable, especially during exam week. Also, Greta Kline, the force behind Frankie Cosmos, has one of those voices that can calmly disappear into the background of your mind while you focus on other things.
"What, Me Worry?," by St. Vincent
What, are you worrying about your tests? This song, from St. Vincent's first album, is the one to listen to when you're getting worried about your tests but don't want to admit it. In response to her question, St. Vincent claims, "I never do," and perhaps you won't worry any more either after you take a listen to this peaceful and calming song.
"Adrenaline Nightshift," by Japandroids
Though I'm not completely sure what this song is about, everyone needs some adrenaline during one of their late-night cram session shifts. The energy in this song comes from places beyond the title; it's driving, fast-paced and catchy. Every time I listen to the album that this song is from, I inexplicably get incredibly ready for summer, which will arrive after you get through these exams.
"Native Korean Rock," by Karen O
At this point, it's probably time for a study break. That's what this song is reserved for. "Native Korean Rock," which is off of Karen O's debut solo album reminds all of us kids that in the end, it's all going to be okay. If you're still worried about any of your tests, just listen to Karen O telling you that "you'll be fine, fine, fine, fine, fine."
"Nurse Ratched," by Cherry Glazerr
On the extremely off-chance that your English final exam is testing you on "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," here's the song you need to prepare. Inspired by the infamous character in the book, it doesn't exactly include a chapter-by-chapter summary, but it's still a great song that everyone should listen to. Plus, Cherry Glazerr is a band made up mostly of high school seniors so even if this song doesn't necessarily relate to your studying, you can still keep in mind that they've all spent hours studying too, and are possibly in the same place you are while you listen to this song!
"Hiding Tonight," by Alex Turner
Hiding tonight is probably precisely what you'll be doing as you listen to this playlist and review your notes, and Alex Turner's song is the perfect soothing accompaniment to get you through burying yourself in review material. It's another song which fades into the background while you focus on the more important task at hand.
"Heads Will Roll," by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
If you're in search of a confidence boost in the middle of trudging through material you can swear you never learned, listen to this Yeah Yeah Yeahs song and feel like the powerful person you are. You can do anything! You can make heads roll on the ground during your test! Well, you probably shouldn't try that, but it's a nice sentiment. It's also the perfect song for an impromptu dance break.
"Beginning to See the Light," by Bettie Serveert
Hopefully this Bettie Serveert cover of the more widely-known Velvet Underground version won't have a literal application to your studying habits and you'll get to bed well before the sun rises. But perhaps it will have a more figurative meaning. Maybe there's just one last concept that you have left to master and you're finally beginning to understand it, finally beginning to see the light.
When studying gets monotonous and boring, music can do wonders to accompany you through it and make it a bit more enjoyable. Hopefully this rock playlist will give you that extra push you need to get through these final exams and into summer.
Eleanor Linafelt. Hi there! I'm Eleanor, one of the Editors-in-Chief for SCO this year. I love reading books, playing cello and electric bass, and surfing and swimming at the beach. I am also an Emily Dickinson fanatic. More »