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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Genre: Nap/Study/Cloudy


There are only ten days standing between me and a masters degree. Kind of. After I graduate on May 10th I still have two more classes to take this summer. One is a research course that will be quite enjoyable (more on that at a later date) and the other a selected readings.

None the less, I graduate in ten days. The last two years have been transformational ones. So hopefully over the next 10 days I am going to use this space to reflect on some of the things I will take away from my time at Mars Hill Graduate School.

Pay attention you 47 potential students that found this site by googling MHGS. And to Crystal and Zach, yes you can use this wisdom for marketing materials.


The first point of reflection is on a genre of music that iTunes must begin to recognize: Nap/Study/Cloudy.

Its not just folk. Its not just indie. Its not easy listening. Its not just sappy or girly. Its nap/study/cloudy.

Here is my top 8 nap/study/cloudy albums that have guided me through my time at MHGS.

Alive in Wild Paint: Ceilings Alive In Wild Paint - Ceilings
Is it fair to put your friends on a top album list? Yes. Yes it is. Austin and Matt may be upset that their album supplements my hypothetical naps, but the truth is that their catchy melodies led by Travis’ falsetto make me want to snuggle up and catch twenty minutes of shut eye. Case in point A Vespertine Haunting. The genre may say “rock” but it should be “nap/study/cloudy/rock”.

Rocky Votolato: Makers Rocky Votolato - Makers
It’s a bit old, and I am assuming many of you are familiar with him but the vibe is quite nice for an afternoon coffee house read. In the song Streetlights he even tells you that his goal is to sing you to sleep! Nap. Study. Cloudy.

The Cardigans: Long Gone Before Daylight The Cardigans - Long Gone Before Daylight
This would be on any music-review-list I would ever make. This is one of the greatest albums I have ever listened to. Ever. The vocals are delicate yet haunting. The lyrics are poetic and thought provoking. You can leave it on while you read. You can sing a long when you want to cry. Its just about perfect. Over the Rhine fans, stop listening to the imitation and try the real thing. You’ll never go back.

Glen Hansard: The Swell Season Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova with Marja Tuhkanen and Bertrand Galen - The Swell Season
You genre can’t be “indie” if you win an Oscar. You’re nap/study/cloudy.

Magnet: The Simple Life Magnet - The Simple Life
The whole album may be a stretch as it has great upbeat songs like The Gospel Song, but the title track The Simple Life is the perfect supplement for a visit to the sleepy stop.

Jason Mraz - We Dance EP Jason Mraz - We Dance - EP
You may know him as Mr. AZ and wonder why he has his hand in his pocket….but this man is talented. This four song little ditty is great for pages 12-15 of your end of the semester essays. WARNING: the tasty grooves may make you want to stop studying and get funky. Reeeeeal funky.

Sigur Ros: Who cares its all the same Sigur Rós
Their music is a perfect wordless (or gibberish-full) backdrop while you “adjust” the words of your last paper to pass as the paper that is due in an hour.

William Fitzsimmons: Goodnight William Fitzsimmons - Goodnight
The title says it all people! He made a whole album with the intention of moving you into a trance! This lo-fi album is beautiful and his raspy voice will indeed, as the song says, Never Let You Go.

There it is. My favorite albums from the Nap/Study/Cloudy genre. Anything you would add?

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Kj said...

You totally nailed the category. I might add the sub genre of "nap/study/cloudy.lonely/longing" which Iron & Wine and Sufjan Stevens fit. more than indie, less than pop, totally weepy

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