Top 5 Alternative Albums For Your Revision Playlist

Top 5 Alternative Albums For Your Revision Playlist


At this time of year, revision is inevitable. It’s hard enough to work when it’s sunny outside and all you want to do is lie on a grassy hill in a fashion akin to a cat. For me though, revision can be made much more bearable with a good soundtrack and an album is generally the perfect length for an intense session. So, here are my top 5 (well top 6 because I couldn’t settle on 5) alternative albums to help you get through your revision:


Beach House- Bloom

The 2012 album from Baltimore dream-pop duo Beach House is the perfect way to slow down to the pace of revision. It exists within its own universe of washed out guitars and shining keyboards. It’s bright enough to sound summery but ambient enough to sit comfortably into the background of whatever you’re studying.


Arcade Fire- Funeral

If you can get over the initial proposition of digging a tunnel from one window to another, the debut album from the French Canadian indie outfit provides an experience that is varied enough with acoustic guitars, glockenspiels and the occasional accordion to remain sonically interesting but enough of a holistic collection of songs to be a great work soundtrack.


Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues

Helplessness Blues is the complete package. In the entirety of its 50 minute running time, the sophomore album from the Seattle based 5-piece indie folk outfit, Fleet Foxes, never gets boring. While you’ll probably not be paying much attention to singer-songwriter Robin Pecknold’s existential crisis of “why is life made only for to end?” while you’re revising, the album has such an esoteric mixture of folk, baroque pop, progressive jazz and world music that it is like a proverbial buffet of sounds.


Wilco- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot begins with the declaration of “I am trying to break your heart” but since the first time I heard it I’ve gone back to it time and time again. For want of a better, less contrived, expression this album possesses that je ne sais quoi. Whether it’s in its songwriting, its production or just in the conviction of singer Jeff Tweedy’s delivery, Wilco’s fourth studio album is one which is great in any scenario, especially revision. This album also contains what is, in my mind, one of the best break-up songs ever written: Jesus Etc.


The Shins- Oh, Inverted World

The debut album from the iconic indie pop group hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico described by Natalie Portman’s character in the 2004 rom-com Garden State as a record that “will change your life”. Perhaps it won’t change your life but it’ll help to bring the sunshine outside into your ears while you’re revising.


Sigur Ros- ()

The Icelandic post-rock band are most well known for their exuberant live performances but the 2002 untitled album is a weird slice of distorted guitars, warped made-up languages and ambience. If you want an album with the qualities of an ambient drone (trust me that’s a good thing) but one that occasionally has a great intensity this album is one for you. Again, I’m probably selling this short but Sigur Ros are one of those bands that you need to hear to appreciate and this album is nothing short of spectacular.





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