Sophia Elias
August 03, 2013 3:00 pm

I need music to concentrate. Shutting out the sounds of the world with a good song stimulates my brain and focuses my thoughts. Those of you who share this likeness understand that the only thing harder than actually focusing is finding music to help you do it.

It’s taken me years to compile a solid playlist of focus music. I know there are websites with prepared playlists that are meant to help you concentrate, but – eh. I wanted to make my own.

Even if you’re more inclined to working in silence, my hope is that you’ll discover some new tunes to enjoy. So give ’em all a go.

I must warn you, though; I give outlandish song descriptions.

1. Burial x Four Tet – Moth

This has been my go-to focus song for the last three or four years. It’s not assaulting to my ears or mind. It’s repetitive. It won’t make me dance. It’s nine minutes. It’s perfect.

If you’re interested, I recommend starting the song around 00:30. The party begins at about 00:57. Enjoy!

2. Max Richter – Infra 5

This is one of those beautiful yet mildly depressing songs that you want to wallow in. Great concentration song, nonetheless. Oh, and lots of violin.

3. BADBADNOTGOOD – Hedron

I won’t lie. With a name like BADBADNOTGOOD, I wasn’t expecting to hear anything jazzy. If you like to indulge in rainy day music (I know I can’t be the only one), this is definitely a song to keep in mind.

4. Astrud Gilberto – Take It Easy My Brother Charlie (Smoove Edit)

I might be partial to this song simply due to the fact that my dog’s name is Charlie – but that doesn’t discount the fact that this is a brilliant reworked piece of bossa nova, fit for getting you through your most monotonous work day. If you have to do some sort of mechanical task repeatedly (e.g. stamping a ton of envelopes), I highly recommend this song. Time will fly, and so will your hands.

5. Zola Jesus – Ixode

There’s something atmospheric about this song, but that’s probably because I envision myself soaring over snowy mountaintops whenever I hear it. It also has a way of making the task at hand seem like it’s the most momentous undertaking in the world. Hell, maybe it is.

6. Mist Glider – If only

I love this because it makes me feel like I’m in some sort of underwater control room (I warned you about the outlandishness). It has a hypnotizing quality to it, which is especially helpful when you’re trying to get work done.

7. The XX – Reconsider (Jamie XX Remix)

Minimalistic and moody. Just like this description. Need I say more?

8. Andy Stott – Submission

If you can relax to the sounds of ambient noise, you may really enjoy Andy Stott. He has a special way of combining both industrial and environmental sounds. For example, this song [to me] = ocean shore x airplane engine x train crossing tracks x underwater alarm clock. I mean that in the best possible way.

9. Nicolas Jaar – Boheme

I can’t help but tap my foot when I hear this song, which makes it a wee bit tricky. Nonetheless, the steady beat takes you on a high-speed, 9 minute ride into sounds and images you would’ve never expected.

10. Fear Club feat. Ashley Garcia – Wasted Time

Stick this one through. I know it sounds a little intense at the beginning, but I promise it will smooth out into a steady, mesmeric beat. Not to mention, the “wasted time” sentiment is echoed throughout the song – perfect for beating procrastination!

Happy working, everybody!

Featured Image via WaterandPower.org

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