Music to sooth a weary mind
January 28, 2013 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Help me find good study music -- aka bands that sound like the Lumineers.

When I study in public places, I like to have my headphones on very quietly to block out the noise and help me concentrate. But the only full album that does it for me is the Lumineers (oh how I love them). The problem is that I love them too much, and now listening to the album over and over is distracting.

So I'd like to find some music that has a similar quality so that I have more options. I generally prefer songs with lyrics, but no lyrics is okay too. I'd prefer full albums, but individual songs work too.

The qualities that help me concentrate: chill, smooth, pleasing, no sudden loud or blaring lyrics/instruments, vocal tone.
posted by DoubleLune to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: How 'bout the new release from Sweden's First Aid Kit? Great track here.

Beth Orton? Kings of Convenience? Belle & Sebastian? The Delgados? Cerys Matthews (post-Catatonia)?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:53 AM on January 28, 2013

Best answer: It's instrumental, but lately I've been wearing out Tycho at work.

Since you love The Lumineers, you might also dig Honeyhoney.
posted by jbickers at 9:06 AM on January 28, 2013

The Cocteau Twins. Their music is mostly dreaming and relaxing and their lyrics are generally not intelligible, which keeps them from getting mixed up in the work you are doing.
posted by BibiRose at 9:10 AM on January 28, 2013

Best answer: Astral Weeks from Van Morrison has been high on my "chill-out" list for years.

Rhythm and Repose from Glen Hansard is another option.

There may be one or two songs on each that may not fit your bill, but between the two of them you could do a good mix tape.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:16 AM on January 28, 2013

Best answer: Lumineers sound like Head and the Heart and Mumford and Sons to me.
posted by threeants at 9:55 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Lumineers are part of the new wave of what I call "happy indie music".

The "similar to Lumineers" page I think has it pretty well nailed.

I'd also perhaps add Elephant Revival to that list, and perhaps Phoenix and The Cave Singers.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:35 AM on January 28, 2013

Best answer: I've got some pretty good results out of plugging variants of 'study' 'folk' 'acoustic' and 'happy' into

Mix in some Neko Case and Shovels and Rope.
posted by Erasmouse at 1:02 PM on January 28, 2013

Best answer: The Innocence Mission, Joshua James (although some of his tunes get kind of raucous when the blues come upon him), Beirut, Alela Diane.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:03 PM on January 28, 2013

Best answer: A.A. Bondy, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Blitzen Trapper (esp. their more recent stuff), The Bowerbirds, East River Pipe, Eisley (their first album especially), Great Lake Swimmers.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:10 PM on January 28, 2013

Best answer: Of Monsters and Men is definitely in this vein. This one song, featuring Birdy, is pretty great. Ben Howard's "Keep Your Head Up" is a bit of a different sound than you might be looking for, but definitely has the same effect: it's happy, positive, well-written, with good, unique vocals. This one is great, and this one makes me smile just listening to it.
posted by hasna at 9:20 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You guys nailed it. I now have a full day of music on a Spotify playlist.

threeants -- Two of my other favorite bands! I can't listen to Mumford and Sons for studying though, too much going on.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:11 AM on January 29, 2013

Best answer: I'd also recommend Lord Huron and Trampled by Turtles!
posted by scottdavidsanders at 6:59 PM on January 30, 2013

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