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Study Album of the Week: Pretty Lights – “Making Up A Changing Mind”

I’m a sucker for good electronic music, especially when it’s laden with good samples. So when I came across Pretty Lights on Grooveshark radio, I had to check him out.

The man behind Pretty Lights, Derek Vincent Smith, is from Colorado and has been actually been making Pretty Lights albums since 2006. He describes his music as a combination of “glitchy hip-hop beats, buzzing synth lines, and vintage funk and soul samples, sometimes grime.” Whatever it is, it’s really good.

Since Pretty Lights uses a lot of samples from other music and forms of media, he releases all of his music for free. This is what we in the business of being poor college students would call “awesome”. Due to this freeness, I will now consider him to be my favorite artist with “lights” in his name. You’re pretty, Lights, but I’m listening to Pretty Lights. (Ok, I just wanted to make that pun. But seriously Lights is really pretty)

Making Up a Changing Mind is the first of three EP’s he released last year, and it’s this week’s study album. Apparently, Pretty Lights’ own description for this album is that it’s the first part of an “epic, fist-pumping, dubsteppy, down-tempo saga.” Well, I guess I can consider that pretty accurate, because:

  • There really isn’t a lot of music out there like it
  • There are definitely some dubstep elements (although they’re not very prominent)
  • The cover art for the three albums is pretty epic looking

Whether the description is accurate to you shouldn’t matter; Making Up a Changing Mind is really enjoyable regardless of its genre-branching tendencies. The album has is probably based  in house, but it brings in a lot of other genres and elements that make for a really interesting listen. It’s upbeat, but a the pacing, samples, and 70’s prog influences give it a really chilled-out vibe. It’s perfect music for easy assignments – not too crazy, but upbeat enough to keep you energized and working.

Like I said before, this album is totally free – which is why I’ve posted it in its entirety here. If you’d like to download it, head over to the Pretty Lights website!