Music I work to (Playlist 1)

My ipod is a well-loved companion that I carry around 24X7 (well, almost). I listen to music when I’m walking, when I’m driving, when I’m chilling with a glass of wine and also when I’m working.

Only problem is, the choice of music when working is a bit of a sensitive matter and if I get it wrong there’s a very good chance that I wind up with zilch to show for my efforts at the end of the working day.

A definite no-no is music that I can sing to, even if the singing happens in my mind. Heavens forbid it had to happen out loud, as has been pointed out to me in past. Point is, if I’m singing, I most definitely am not writing ‘cos the ‘word quota’ in my brain is being used up for the sing-along. Hey, I never said I’m good at multi-tasking.

Which means that instrumental is best (well done Sherlock). But even here, the pitfalls are endless. Classical tends to not suit my working pace – not to mention that I sometimes find myself waving my arms around as if I’m some sort of Riccardo Muti when the most interesting parts hit. Much to the merriment of former colleagues, I hardly need add.

I usually hit gold with a playlist that includes a mish-mash of post rock and instrumental classic rock, something on the lines of the list below. Music is very subjective, so there’s a good chance you’ll hate my choices. But that’s not going to stop me playing them.

Just one word of warning: don’t forget to use your earbuds at work. Much as you’re unlikely to want to hear GYBE’s F#A# on loop, if they’re not your thing…I’m equally unlikely to harbour any enthusiasm for your Britney Spears compilation. And no, I’m not linking that.

Firefly, by Tortoise – For easing into the day while hoping there’s nothing too horrific in your inbox.

The Sun Smells Too Loud, by Mogwai– So you’re just coming back to the land of the living. This gives you the necessary kickstart in the morning without being too brash.

Carpe, by Russian Circles – Just what’s needed to help you focus after that first cup of coffee.

Better Than You, Swans – You’re digging into your work while hoping against hope that your deadline doesn’t whoosh past. This is the only exception when lyrics are permissible.

One Night in Tunisia, by  Laika & the Astronauts – For that afternoon slump when, let’s be honest here, you’re doing jack shit. Get a coffee and let yourself be seduced by the happy vibes of Laika.

Fade to Black, by Apocalyptica– Say you’re doing something that requires real concentration. This gives you just the right motivation without making you lose thread of whatever it is that’s being a pain.

Triveni, by Rodrigo y Gabrila – The presentation/feature/whatever it is that was being a pain in the previous post is halfway done. Huzzah. You’re in a jaunty mood. And this duo will have you do a jaunty little butt wiggle in your office chair.

Wonderful Slippery Thing, by Guthrie Govan – Ok so you’re high on your semi-success. Now’s not the time to start slacking, as these chords will show you.

Your Hand in Mine, by Explosions in the Sky– By now let’s hope you’ve gone from “halfway through” to “finished in record time”. This will give you six minutes (give or take) of pure, unadulterated pleasure. Go on, browse away….

Lost Horizon, by Friends of Dean Martinez– It’s time to clear your mind and to move on to project number two for the day. Nothing too mellow or you just won’t get it off the ground.

Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers, by Jeff Beck – Just ignore the unfortunate title. It’s winding down time and Mr Beck offers just the right notes.

Shutter Release, by Lymbyc System– Pack your bags and see you tomorrow folks!

© Ramona Depares 2011.



  1. deucekindred says:

    You’ll love the stuff on Tri Angle records then – Balam Acab , Holy Other , Clams Casino and How to Dress Well. They are perfect for working to – especially balam acab’s wander/wonder.

    • Thanks, it’s great to receive good music tips! Especially since I always start my day with cappuccino and with checking out your links on FB :)

  2. Wayne Flask says:

    I assume you work in a room on your own or with like-minded people?

  3. Clara says:

    awesome awesome awesome study playlist, thank you! last exam session i discovered ‘lymbyc systym’ and ‘this will destroy you’ for studying along to. worked great