My favorite focus music is no doubt lo-fi! This one was a nice find. If you haven’t heard of the genre, give it a quick Google search. There’s an online community of lo-fi live streaming and the people (like me, I guess) who regularly tune into them.
Here’s some quotes from a New Yorker article on lo-fi humorously titled Against Chill: Apathetic Music to Make Spreadsheets To:
While I personally don’t listen to lo-fi for any other time except to do work on a computer, I’m sure there are many others who tune into it for other tasks. 💔 There was an observation in the article that I found a bit heartbreaking:
“Although I recognize the utility of listening to non-distracting study music, I nonetheless find it disheartening to see art being reconfigured, over and over again, as a tool for productivity—and then, when the work is finally done, as a tool for coming down from the work. It’s especially disconcerting to see the practice of active listening (which can be a creative act as well as a wildly pleasurable one) denigrated, dismissed, or ignored. Background music is hardly a new development, but, previously, these sorts of experiences were mostly relegated to elevators and waiting rooms; now the groundless consumption of music has become omnipresent. In a 2015 press release, Spotify declared itself “obsessed with figuring out how to bring music into every part of your life, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whatever your mood.” The idea of purposeful listening—which is to say, merely listening—is becoming increasingly discordant with the way that music is sold to us. (Anybody who has attended a live music concert in the last couple of years has already witnessed, firsthand, just how uncomfortable listening appears to make some people—so much so that frustrated musicians have started banning phones at shows.)”
My one note on this is that our modern day work environments almost leave little alternatives to turning to background music to be able to focus. I’ve seen a few articles lately that are saying open office spaces can’t be blamed for our lack of focus. The solutions these articles offer are often blanket statements saying to find other corners of your office to focus. Since the distraction is usually baked into the design of work spaces, I personally find solace in lo-fi and think that it actually helps me tune out the noise and be a better listener when I’m tuned out too.