Music is one of the greatest companions to an all-night study session. It’s easy to pull up any mix on YouTube to play in the background. But sometimes you crave something different than “lo-fi beats,” and these tracks will help bring it up a notch. They’re still chill songs, just with more life in them, so you can think of these as a nice in-between. Below are 10 revamped alternative songs to help you ace your semester.
1. “The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive” – Death Cab For Cutie (Tycho remix)
While Death Cab For Cutie already produce soothing music backed by Ben Gibbard’s ruminative vocals, this Tycho rework takes the track to a state that’s positively dreamy. Scott Hansen keeps the integrity of the original alive by substituting the heavier riffs with melodic ones, adding loping beats that make it all the more mesmerizing for any occasion.
2. “Fragments Of Time” – Daft Punk (DARKSIDE remix)
During their short-lived collaboration, DARKSIDE transposed Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories’ futuristic disco and prog leanings into bluesy downtempo bliss. One of the best songs to emerge from the reimagining, “Fragments Of Time,” boasts kinetic melodies and repeated vocals that will help you get in a groove.
3. “COPYCAT” – Billie Eilish (Sofi Tukker remix)
Billie Eilish’s soft, mellow vocals are perfect for setting a mood as you hit the books, so naturally Sofi Tukker’s rework enhances the experience. The duo curb the boomy beat in the chorus with handclap effects that provide an upbeat flow while preventing the track from becoming a full-scale EDM affair that’ll overtake your speakers.
4. “Electric Feel” – MGMT (Justice remix)
By itself, MGMT’s “Electric Feel” could already make it on a similar list, but this Justice rendition is truly otherworldly. Deviating from the original’s stylish psych-pop, Justice cranked up the bass. They leaned into electro grandeur in an effort that nabbed the electronic-rock pair a Grammy in 2009.
5. “Broken Drum” – Beck (Boards Of Canada remix)
Boards Of Canada revamped this Guero deep cut on the album’s counterpart, Guerolito, where Beck commissioned a track-by-track overhaul of his 2005 effort. The duo proved they were capable by transforming the emotional ode into a spaced-out voyage without losing the original’s sentiment. By adding reversed guitars and wobbly beats, the song sounds just as eerie and foreboding as anything in their catalog. With its hypnotizing swells, it makes it easy to get sucked into whatever you’re working on.
6. “Skttrbrain” – Radiohead (Four Tet remix)
A medley of throbbing beats and chimes hit you before Thom Yorke’s vocals begin, carrying throughout while still spotlighting the Radiohead frontman’s emotive delivery. Kieran Hebden quickly changes course with this Hail To The Thief classic, though, when he starts chopping and repurposing Yorke’s vocals for a hazier effect, adding a squeaky sax eruption in the last minute.
7. “What Kind Of Man” – Florence + The Machine (Nicolas Jaar remix)
Nicolas Jaar converted Florence + The Machine’s “What Kind Of Man” into a staggering 12-minute production that’s entirely his own. By deconstructing the guitar-driven base, Jaar morphs the track into a dance-club decimator. It’s fitting for an all-night cram session, complemented by a slick bassline and the ability to make Florence Welch’s colossal voice sound completely vintage.
8. “Talk Too Much” – COIN (Patrick Stump remix)
Patrick Stump’s rework makes this synth-heavy COIN track even more carefree and upbeat. Stump leaves the vocals intact, so this one’s better suited for light studying or typing up a paper you know you’ll ace rather than a complex reading assignment.
9. “Useless” – Depeche Mode (Kruder And Dorfmeister remix)
Kruder And Dorfmeister generate some of the finest chill-out music. They take it to a higher place than their peers with loungey downbeats that are indebted to funk as much as they are to early hip-hop. Both their K&D Sessions and DJ-Kicks compilation albums are excellent study companions if you don’t feel like making a mix, while their heady trip-hop fits your next low-key kickback and upcoming library visit.
10. “Beggin For Thread” – BANKS (Gryffin & Hotel Garuda remix)
BANKS is most known for her brooding pop, and Gryffin & Hotel Garuda make use of the singer’s silky voice by threading her lyrics with a redefined tempo that’s higher than the original. It’s still chill as hell, just with an extra emphasis to assist you in pushing out that final paper.
Which songs do you plan on adding to your playlist? Let us know in the comments below.