Photo via Coffee Shop Vibes.

With syllabus week out of the way, the real work begins as the semester kicks off to finish up this online year. If you’re one to put on some music to keep your focus during the week or to help you chill-out while cramming for a test the night before (it happens), here are some suggestions for popular Lo-Fi and ambient sounds.

LO-FI:

Lo-Fi, or low-fidelity music, can roughly be traced back to the 1950s, originating primarily from the imperfections of early recording equipment. Over time, artists have experimented with low-levels of audio quality to create a raw, authentic, there-in-the-studio feel to their music. Modern lo-fi artists are experimenting with the same sound quality coupled with sound sampling to create comfortable rhythms with a distinct sense of place across multiple genres, most commonly through a mix of hip-hop or jazz, branching off even into fandom styles.

Particularly popular as streaming music coupled with looping videos on YouTube and through playlists featured on Spotify, lo-fi serves as a great background for gently altering the mood of a space, whether it be setting the tone for an easy study session or a group pizza night. The possibilities are endless when it comes to finding the right tone across such a versatile genre. Check out these streams below!

LO-FI STREAMS:

The go-to hip-hop stream:
Chilled Cow “lofi hip hop radio – beats to study/relax to

If you’re missing studying in your favorite cafe (jazzy):
Coffee Shop Vibes “Smooth Jazz on Coffee Shop Ambience […]

If you’re looking for some vocals:
College Music “vocal lofi hip hop radio – emotional/late night beats

An indie/alt feel variety (with some vocals):
BIRP! “Indie Pop / Rock [24/7 Radio]

FANDOM LO-FI:

For Animal Crossing lovers (who hasn’t checked their island in a month?):
David De Souza “lofi animal crossing radio – beats to relax/study to (zero ads)

Star Wars, featuring an incredible looping video to put on in the background:
Closed on Sunday “star wars ~ lofi beats to relax/study to

Studio Ghibli jazz for a springtime feel:
Cafe Music BGM channel “Studio Ghibli Jazz Beats – Relaxing Jazz Hiphop & lofi Music For Study, Work

Harry Potter, a take on Chilled Cow’s lo-fi beats:
Amemos – Ambience “Harry Potter | Lofi

Along the same studious vein, ambient sound, otherwise known as background sounds of any given setting (think rainforest sound machine noise), can help get you out of the house mentally and into a nearby cafe, or change up the weather with the addition of a heavy thunderstorm or a crackling fire. Ambient noise is especially appealing for those who cannot focus with the steady beat or sometimes vocals typical lo-fi offers. When also coupled with looping videos, these streams below are perfect for putting on your TV or computer while you read or write.

AMBIENT SOUNDS:

For those who love a rainy day vibe:
Relaxing Sounds Of Nature “10 Hours of Rain […]

A cozy, crackling fireplace:
Fireplace 10 hours “Fireplace 10 hours full HD

A nighttime snowy river stream:
TheSilentWatcher “4K HDR Snowy Village River […]

A springtime 1930’s library for when Fogler doesn’t hit the spot:
Ambience of Yesteryear “Ambience/ASMR: Writer’s Library from the 1930s, 4 Hours

Happy studying!