• Maggie Neuman

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.