Four Albums for revision, the exam period, and beyond.
Sigur Rós – ( )
Too easily distracted by an album’s lyrics while slaving away at an assignment? Constantly curious to know what a song is called, shattering your focus? Fear not, because Iceland’s masters of the ethereal, Sigur Rós, have you covered. ( ) is an album with no name, no song titles, and lyrics sung in frontman Jónsi’s very own constructed language, devoid of any overt meaning. The musical content, however, is beautiful – ‘Untitled 4’’s blissful piano melodies will bring any dull reading of source material to life, and the album’s earth-shattering conclusion, ‘Untitled 8’, will have you furiously smashing out the conclusion to your dissertation to the tune of a eleven minute slowly building drum driven epic. According to the band, the listener is meant to write how they interpret the music in the CD sleeve booklet. Interesting to do, yes, but don’t waste precious library time writing about how ‘Untitled 6’ makes you think of a celestial puppy getting its belly tickled.
Mogwai – Young Team
Want something a little more upbeat, but similarly devoid of lyrics? Mogwai’s 1997 debut Young Team is the revision album for you. A few snatches of telephone conversations here and there complement gorgeous guitar riffs which quite often culminate in crushing maelstroms of noise.‘Like Herod’ has a particularly loud guitar moment which will jolt you awake and away from another hour spent trawling Buzzfeed. This album lulls you into a false sense of security with some achingly beautiful, slowly unfolding songs (‘Tracy’ a particular highlight) and then thunderously reminds you that you need to be revising right now, (‘Mogwai Fear Satan’, ‘Summer (Priority Version)’) and procrastinating won’t help. Do you want another furious squall of feedback in your ear? No? Well get working.
Death Grips – The Money Store
Still not working hard enough? Do you need to be shouted at? Step forward alt hip hop trio ‘Death Grips’ sophomore effort, The Money Store. This is an album for that 3am Red Bull induced library euphoria, when you’re a furious ball of nervous pre-deadline energy and you need music to match your mood. Skittish, bass driven beats pummel into your ears while frontman MC Ride bellows “I’ve seen footage/ I stay noided” at you, and noided you will be, after six red bulls and six thousand words, you want something shout along to, and the fist in the air hooks of album ‘Hustle Bones’ and the aforementioned ‘I’ve Seen Footage’ deliver just that. The album highlight is undoubtedly ‘Hacker’, the final track, just don’t bellow the hook “Teaching bitches how to swim” at 4am in an empty library, but after a whole album of MC Ride bellowing into your ears, strange things can happen.
Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
You’ll need something blissful and summery to wash away the acrid memories of the library and an exam just passed. Innerspeaker is a big fuzzy blanket of an album, full of velvety smooth reverb and Kevin Parker’s voice floating on top of it all: “And in all honesty/ I didn’t have a hope in hell” from album opener ‘It’s Not Meant To Be’ is the perfect soothing lyric after a disastrous exam, because hey, it’s ok, Kevin’s here with his lovely guitar noises, come soothe yourself. However, if you haven’t failed, this album is perfect for you smug people too. ‘The Bold Arrow Of Time’ is the perfect song to have a swaggering walk back from the exam hall to, after reassuring your course friends that, of course, you struggled with that tricky second section too. Except no, you didn’t. You utterly crushed it. You feel great, and you need this in your ears to remind yourself.