There are two types of situations where I would turn to music to help clear my head – in preparation for something, or to simply relax. And since different songs would work for each situation, I decided to approach both with this post.
First will be three songs that have helped me focus, most commonly before tests or sporting events (or when I’m struggling to type up a post). The basic idea is not only clearing my mind, but also mentally preparing to devote my full attention.
So, first up from Muse’s Origin of Symmetry (AKA their best album AKA far better than their last two turd releases) is Megalomania. Between the pipe organ, constant rhythm, and ascending vocals, it helps by blocking out external distractions and honing my attention.
Then, a very different track from the same album – Micro Cuts. With a more in-your-face approach, this demands full attention, changing my focus to the song itself. And from there, it’s golden.
And third is Battle Hymn of the Soul, from Persona 3. As with many other songs with video games, it is intended to not only heighten the situation at hand, but keep your mind on the game. Out of its original context, it still works excellently to put my mind in the right place. Even if it does include the side effect of making me want to replay the game.
For the second case where I would look to clear my head, the intention is relaxation. In general, full albums would be better examples than just a few songs, to simply put on, close my eyes, and relax to. One of my favorites for this purpose is Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, mostly for Shine on You Crazy Diamond.
Another would be M4 Part II by Faunts. While a bit more active than most songs/albums I listen to for this purpose, it is still great to sit back and listen to in the dark for some peace of mind.
The featured image is from Hibike! Euphonium.