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Since I Left You: An Unconventional Study Album

Hey y’all, unfortunately for us WMU students finals are coming up, although that also means that we’re almost at the end of the semester so woo hoo! In the spirit of finals I have been digging back into my favorite study music (check it out in another blog here). It’s mostly classical, Debussy being the frontrunner but sometimes I like to listen to other stuff too including a very unconventional study album, Since I Left You by The Avalanches. I feel like most people would never think of this as a good album to study to but I’m here today to explain why I think it is and why it’s just an awesome album in general.

So I actually discovered this album my senior year of high school, 18 years after the album came out in 2000. Senioritis at that point had really kicked in which meant a lot of procrastination and subsequently late nights doing homework. At the time I was mostly listening to YouTube for music and at a certain point while studying each night, I would just let YouTube’s recommendations take over. Say what you will about listening to music on YouTube but I still stand by their recommendations which led me to Since I Left You. I don’t remember what exactly got me to the point of that coming up on my computer but my truly exhausted brain was very happy about it. At that level of exhaustion I think my brain was more receptive to genres that I typically didn’t listen to, like electronic music in this case. When I’m that tired I’m also more receptive to very weird and trippy music which I consider this album to be.

Now, just what is Since I Left You like? Since I Left You is an electronic, indie rock album composed entirely of samples. This album is truly an album, not a collection of songs, and thus it must be listened to as an album. The songs flow so seamlessly together that it is difficult to tell when one song ends and another begins. The different samples come in and out of play until minutes later you realize that the music changed entirely, right under your nose. This is an unbelievable experience that I can't recommend enough.

So hear me out here, I think that this overall trippy musical experience in Since I Left You is ideal for studying, especially late at night. One very important thing when listening to music while studying is to make sure that the music won’t be overly distracting. While Since I Left You is a very weird album, in my experience it has not been very distracting. I often get distracted by when songs change in other music I listen to but this is not the case with the seamless song transitions found in this album. When your brain is in need of a quick mental break, that is when you will notice that the music has changed at which point it wouldn’t really be a distraction. Every once in a while, something musically weird will happen which will snap you out of the tiredness you may be experiencing while studying. This album is also mostly void of lyrics which for me is ideal when studying to further avoid distraction.

Overall based on what I need when studying, Since I Left You is a great study album for me and I think any students reading this should give studying to it a go! Even if you aren’t in school and studying, I still highly recommend listening to this album, it is a true masterpiece! They also have a 20th anniversary edition coming up in June where they are doing remixes of every song on the album so look out for that as well if you enjoy it!


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