Alternative Study Music

Unreqvited’s latest album ‘l’amour et l’ardeur’ is full of shimmering soundscapes perfect for studying.

With finals comes studying, and with studying inevitably comes a massive spike in YouTube searches for “Lord of the Rings” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” soundtracks. Let’s face it: no matter how big of a musical genius Howard Shore is, after the 11th time “The Shire” gets old.

Freshen up your study playlist with tracks from these artists. From atmospheric black metal to instrumental guitar, there is something for everyone.


Unreqvited is a post-black metal band and one-man outfit out of Ottawa, Ontario. Haunting piano floats on a breeze of soaring orchestration, as bright guitar dissolves in a pool of smooth electronic keys. The deep rumble of vocals is sparse, distant.

What makes Unreqvited an ideal background to your earnest studying efforts is its vocalizations are not distracting, as they are set in the back of the soundscape. The instrumentation is engaging enough not to lull you to sleep, but not active enough to steal your attention away from that 20-page paper you started last minute.

Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers’ melancholic lyrics and soft, shrill voice lounge in soft acoustic melodies and warm harmonies. The vocals of Bridgers’ work melt away on your eardrum, leaving you with the musical equivalent of steamed milk, warm and comforting.

Becky Langan

This generation’s Khaki King, Becky Langan is a virtuoso of the acoustic guitar. Her intricate pick work and acoustic percussion give life to her instrumental works. Langan breathes life into classical guitar, pushing the instrument’s boundaries and abandoning boring chord progressions.

Michael Rault

Reminiscent of the Beatles, Michael Rault pairs his soft nasal tenor with psychedelic keys, jangly guitar and simple drum beats. His work contains all of the late ’60s flavors of Abbey Road’s “Something” and “Sun King.”

A more active soundscape than those listed above, Rault’s music may not be suited for all studiers.

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