Finals Week Must-Listens

Finals week is here, and, for those of you who need something to listen to while you study, the WDCE DJs have just the fix!

If you are having trouble focusing, sophomore Nick Howe suggested listening to acoustic, indie-folk songs.

“I feel like when you’re studying, it’s bad to listen to music with too many instruments because it’s easy to get distracted and caught up in the song,” Howe said. “These songs are good background music, but they aren’t too mellow where they make you fall asleep in the middle of reading your textbook.”

His personal favorites to study to are “Fever to the Form” and “Cucurucu” by Nick Mulvey because of the artist’s “simple, but full sound.” However, if indie folk isn’t your speed, Graham Kerrigan, DJ of The Smoke Show, said that “It’s a Mess” by The Deadly Syndrome, despite the ironic title, can help students buckle down and study.

Echoing Howe, Casey Nolan, DJ of The Solid Ground, suggested the acoustic versions of “Elevated” by State Champs and “Believe” by Yellowcard. However, for him, finals week music has more significance than just helping you focus. Casey said he understands the emotional struggle of being a University of Richmond student; he said that after feeling downtrodden by all the hard work students put in to get through the semester, “we start to pick things up and elevate ourselves for the final, believing in ourselves and keeping strong. We realize that we’re all in this together, like a second family of sorts.” Reflective of that, he said he recommends “Came Out Swinging” by The Wonder Years, “College Kids” by Relient K, and “Second Family” by Patent Pending.

To keep strong, like Casey said, we will definitely need to take breaks. “Female$ Welcomed” by Trinidad James is the perfect song to relax to, Graham said. However, if you want to dance, he suggested “Empty Nesters” by Toro y Moi. And for an extra boost of motivation, Graham said that “Nodding Off” by Wavves (featuring Best Coast) is “upbeat and sunny, just like the musicians’ homeland of California. Summer’s just around the corner.”

Listen to Graham on Tuesdays from 11pm-1am, and Casey on Fridays from 1am-3am on WDCE 90.1 at and like the station and Graham’s show, The Smoke Show, on Facebook. Scroll down if you want to see Casey, Graham, and Nick’s personal picks.

Graham’s Study Break Playlist:
“Wake Bake Skate” by FIDLAR
“Kristina She Don’t Know I Exist” by Catch 22
“Nodding Off” by Wavves, ft. Best Coast
“Part for the Rest of the Night” by Warren Zevon
“Man” by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
“Empty Nesters” by Toro y Moi
“Female$ Welcomed” by Trinidad James

Casey’s Study Playlist:
“Came Out Swinging” by The Wonder Years [Explicit]
“Life on the Bottom” by Hit The Lights
“I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers
“All Downhill From Here” by New Found Glory
“Uninspired” by Cartel
“College Kids” by Relient K
“Reflections” by We Are The In Crowd
“Everything Is Alright” by Motion City Soundtrack
“No Good Before Noon” by Into It. Over It.
“Elevated (Acoustic Version)” by State Champs
“Believe (Acoustic Version)” by Yellowcard
“Second Family” by Patent Pending
“Summer” by Fireworks [Explicit]

Graham’s Study Playlist:
“Still Want You” by Brandon Flowers
“Pieces of What” by MGMT
“Let Her Go” by Mac Demarco
“Gettysburg” by Ratatat
“It’s a Mess” by The Deadly Syndrome
“Era Extraña” by Neon Indian
“Ripple” by The Grateful Dead

Nick’s Study Playlist:
“Fever to the Form” by Nick Mulvey
“Money Can’t Buy” by Howard
“Child’s Hand in Dirt” by Hip Hatchet
“Butterflies” by Hudson Taylor
“Stay By Yours” by Pickering Pick
“The Salt” by Small Sur
“Half Hearted Apology” by Dean Fields
“A Moment’s Grace” by Boy & Bear
“If I Go” by Jake McMullen
“Ain’t No Reason” by Brett Dennen
“Cucurucu” by Nick Mulvey
“To Build A Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra
“That Old Familiar Pain” by Trevor Gordon Hall
“Indigo Home” by Roo Panes

Have suggestions from your own playlist? Comment below!

Contact Forum reporter Karissa Lim at

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