The Spectrum’s Study Playlist: 2016 Edition

Neuroscientists wholeheartedly agree: You cannot get through finals week without a bumping playlist. The editors of The Spectrum are here to help. You shall overcome (with our help). So crack open another energy drink, plug in those cheap earbuds and press play.

Benjamin Norman, editor-in-chief

    1. “B.O.B.” OutKast
    2. “Sanctify,” St. Paul and the Broken Bones
    3. “My Shot,” Lin-Manuel Miranda



This being my seventh dead and finals week, I need a bit more motivation to get my work done than wide-eyed freshmen. Enter Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of “Hamilton.”

When listening to the musical-banger of the decade, I envision myself as young, scrappy and hungry student. The homework becomes a little more life-and-death when listening to Miranda ponder life and death.

  1. “Say Goodbye,” Green Day
  2. “Black Skinhead,” Kanye West
  3. “Shoot to Thrill,” AC/DC

Dead week is just that for me; dead. Dead week, for me, needs to hype up or else I’ll be a brain-dead sloth burnt out from the treachery of a full load of classes and Spectrum deadlines. Hype music and heavy metal, when conjoined with the gods’ elixir of straight black Folgers coffee, provides the dead-week dose of energy I need to power through the end of the semester.

Jack Hastings

    1. “Shove It,” Santigold
    2. “Millionaire,” Kelis and Andre 3000
    3. “On Hold,” The xx



The xx have always been my prime source for moody bangers, and my demand for melancholic jams significantly increases with the onset of finals. The xx’s new single has that “I’m sad but still wanna have a good time” upbeat vibe that I desperately crave. And if the Hall & Oates sample in the chorus isn’t enough to motivate you through finals, then I guess you are a lost cause.

Rio Bergh, features editor

    1. “Bus Talk (Interlude)” Paolo Nutini
    2. “Sinnerman” Nina Simone
    3. “Bust Your Kneecaps” Pomplamoose



For some reason, an upbeat doo-wop song about the mafia never fails to put me in a good mood. Just as your grades are slipping through your fingers, you can daydream about your family business having a nice little chat with members of university administration who, for some unknown reasons, place a premium on grades. But regardless of the grades, you can listen to this song and remember the only thing that really matters is the fam. Whomever they are.

Paige Johnson, A&E Editor

    1. “Comrade” – Volcano Choir
    2. “Kill Your Heroes” – AWOLNATION
    3. “It’s Cool” – New Beat Fund



While most people go to slow and quiet tunes when cracking down and studying, I’d rather bop my head to keep my spirits up. Upbeat and catchy, “It’s Cool” is the perfect song for this. It also describes a party that really, I’d rather be at than sitting in my room on my 10th Dr. Pepper at 1:00 a.m. waiting for finals to be over. There are also some choice expletives used, which is great when you’ve been stuck in a rut for hours.

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