In some form or the other, either off a Spotify podcast, or from your favorite YouTuber, you may have heard of the term “lo-fi music.”
Chances are that you may have come across it while watching anime too. While its origin is unknown, some people say the term was coined by Eric Mathews, while a few others claim that DJ William Berger introduced lo-fi music to the world back in 1986 through his thirty minute radio show.
Irrespective of who coined it, the phrase “lo-fi” is short for low fidelity. It refers to the quality of the music, as well as how it is produced. Lo-fi music has some “technical imperfections” such as sound distortion, some ambient noise or flaws in the frequency response. This means that the sound recordings don’t sound the same as they would in a live performance.
Lo-fi music has been trending for quite some time now. We are sure you have heard lo-fi tracks before, but perhaps didn’t know the genre of music existed. Our experts have put together a one-stop detailed guide on what lo-fi music is. Keep reading to get all your questions on lo-fi answered.
The Lo-fi Era
Lo-fi music has been around for quite some time now. People have been creating and listening to lo-fi music for at least three decades now. Around the 1980s, lo-fi musicians were referred to as “bedroom musicians,” who would use whatever they could get their hands on to create lo-fi music.
Since the music was recorded in an actual bedroom or garage by amateur artists, the walls weren’t soundproof. This is exactly what gave lo-fi music its charm – the “homely” touch.
What’s the Hype Around Lo-Fi Music and Anime?
Lo-fi music became an integral part of anime in the 2000s. It was first incorporated in 2004 by a Japanese producer, Nujabes, in “Samurai Champloo,” giving the anime’s original sound track a complete makeover. This new track, accompanied with traditional anime clips and snippets, leaves you in a very nostalgic mood, paired with a touch of pensiveness. Lo-fi music will have you daydreaming for hours!
Nujabes has been the source of inspiration for many budding lo-fi artists. Sadly, Nujabes passed away a decade ago, in 2010, due to a devastating car accident, but the mark he has left on the anime and lo-fi music will never be forgotten.
What Makes Lo-Fi Music Relaxing?
Lo-fi music had become increasingly popular during the pandemic. People were stressed out and worried; anxiety levels had peaked. With a change of work habits and the adoption of online classes, people were finding it difficult to cope up and stay focused and productive.
Maybe you checked for “chill music” on YouTube or Spotify too, and were greeted with an endless list of lo-fi tracks. In fact, there’s a YouTube channel by the name of ‘ChilledCow’ which has a bunch of lo-fi tracks and has over 5 million active listeners.
Lo-fi music is often lyricless music, which is another reason as to why people found it helpful to listen to such tracks when working or studying. Here’s a list of other things you can do while listening to music.
Lo-fi tracks have the right tempo and frequency – they are neither too fast nor too slow. The music isn’t too dull and boring, neither is it distracting – it’s the perfect kind of music to listen to when you really need to focus. Many people listen to the same lo-fi track on repeat for hours!
Why Do Students Listen to Lo-Fi Music?
Time and again we have been told that studying and listening to music don’t go hand in hand. Perhaps, this may be true. If you are going to listen to loud music with screaming lyrics, chances are that your study session won’t be quite fruitful. However, we recommend listening to music while studying as music helps in learning and improving your memory.
College students all across the world will agree with the fact that listening to lo-fi music easily makes your studying session much more efficient and productive. What’s more is that you feel energized and rejuvenated, even if you are staring at a screen for hours in one stretch.
The reason for this is the technical imperfections in lo-fi music. These flaws somehow tap into the cerebrum and help you focus much better than you would otherwise. Some students have said that they lose track of time when they play lo-fi music while studying.
Recent studies have shown that 86% of students who study and listen to lo-fi music have noticed a significant increase in their attention-span, focus and productivity. Who would have thought that studying could seem like a seamless activity! Studying’ and fun – the two words seldom appear together.
Who Are Some of the Best Lo-Fi Artists to Help You Relax?
There are so many wonderful and talented lo-fi artists out there, creating some amazing lo-fi tracks. We’ve put together a list of 10 lo-fi artists whose music you should definitely check out.
One of ocha’s greatest tracks is “iridscnt.” Make sure you listen to it!
Listen to “letting go” by potsu on YouTube now.
If you have ever come across Leavv’s lo-fi tracks before, you must have definitely heard of “Far Away.” If you haven’t, it is a lo-fi track you have got to check out.
Our team really liked “no way back” by Oatmello. It puts you in a bittersweet, melancholy mood. Listen to it right here, right now.
Kupla’s “Afloat” is a wonderful lo-fi piece. In fact, we found that it’s a great track to listen to when you are studying, Listen to it here.
6. Lofi Radiance
Lofi Radiance has a three-minute track called “Lofi Jazzy Rap,” which is a great song to listen to. Listen to it here.
The song called “falling down” ft. shiloh is a song that’s been trending for a while. In fact, people like it so much that there is even a one hour long version of the song! Check out the song here.
Check out “Light Beams” by Guustavv.
“Perpetual” is one of goosetaf’s track with the most “serious laid back” vibes. It has been a favorite among people all around the world, ever since its release in March, 2020. Check it out now.
10. HM Surf
HM Surf released a track called “Take Care” around mid-December, 2017, and it definitely ended the year on a good note. Although it’s a little over 3 years old, ‘Take Care’ by HM Surf is definitely one of our favorite lo-fi tracks. Check it out here.
Lo-Fi Your Way Through the Day!
Lo-fi music is predictable. that’s precisely why people have become such huge fans of it. Whether you want to study, work, read a book, cook your favorite meal, work out or just relax, lo-fi music is your best friend. It’s soothing, peaceful and always fit for whatever mood or state of mind you are in.
If you have never heard any lo-fi tracks before, we are suggesting you head over and listen to lo-fi music right now! Trust us, you won’t regret it. Once you get hooked on to it, there will be nothing pulling you away from lo-fi music.