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JOHN BARDSLEY brings you the music that can get you through exam term.

The bank holiday festivities have passed and exams are getting ominously close. You’re probably starting to ever so slightly lose the plot. Jean Paul once said ‘Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life’, so when those stress levels are reaching breaking point, give these artists a listen. Hopefully their smooth vibes can give you a helping hand and, at least temporarily, quell your fears.

Michael Kiwanuka

You probably already recognise this guy from the BBC Sound of 2012 poll. He won, but unlike many previous winners he actually deserved it. If 2012 sounds as chilled as this then I’ll be very happy indeed.

Here’s my favourite track from his debut album Home Again:

Michael Kiwanuka- I’m Getting Ready

Plus he’s playing The Junction on the 22nd May, if your relaxation needs to get a bit more active.

Submotion Orchestra

Words fail to express how much I love this band. Extremely gifted musicians, sparse, yet somehow full instrumentation create a haunting effect that few others can achieve. Their subtle combination of electronic depth and luscious live instruments often borders on the orgasmic.Whilst their latest single It’s Not Me It’s You is a cracker, for soothing revision medicine I prefer this gem taken from their album Finest Hour.

Submotion Orchestra- All Yours


Anyone who says electronic music can’t be beautiful is: a) a moron and b) not familiar with Shlohmo. All I know about this guy is that he’s based in LA. And that his music puts a smile on my face. You’ve got to be in the right mood to listen to this sort of thing, but when the time is right, listening to the whole of his album Bad Vibes will take you away from all your troubles. I promise.

Shlohmo- Seriously


Matt Preston aka Phaeleh is a master of the art of production. Everything sits perfectly in the mix, with each element giving a real sense of space and depth to his work. But more importantly, his musical ideas are equally impressive. The vocals on this one can really give me the shivers. He’s been compared to Burial quite a lot, which seems strange considering they sound completely different… Besides, I reckon this Bristolian is on another level.

Phaeleh- Should Be True


If you think I’m just a hipster moron that knows nothing, you can always put your faith in science. According to a study carried out by Radox Spa (the bubble bath people) this Marconi Union classic is the most relaxing song the world’s got to offer. It’s a tad too sleep inducing for me, but each to his own I suppose.

Marconi Union- Weightless

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