The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Latest Reviews

REVIEW: Greentea Peng – ‘Rising’ EP (Different Recordings / TENNNN)

When listening to Greentea Peng for the first time, the correlation between her name and her sound is instantly noticeable. Like a late-night brew, her…

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REVIEW: Warmduscher – ‘Tainted Lunch’ (The Leaf Label)

Warmduscher’s rather striking third studio album Tainted Lunch, begins at it means to go on: weirdly. Its opening track, ‘Rules Of The Game’, is less of a…

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REVIEW: Michael Kiwanuka – ‘Kiwanuka’ (Polydor)

After the immense success he has faced with his first two albums Home Again and Love & Hate, Michael Kiwanuka is back with Kiwanuka, his…

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REVIEW: Underworld – ‘Drift Series 1 Sampler Edition’ (Smith Hyde Productions)

Since 2018’s excellent EP with Iggy Pop titled Teatime Dub Encounters, Karl Hyde and Rick Smith have engaged in a year-long creative experiment titled Drift,…

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REVIEW: Rex Orange County – ‘Pony’ (Sony)

Hugely uplifting and full of wide-eyed romanticism, ‘Loving Is Easy’ was a perfect summation of what makes the music of Rex Orange County so likeable.…

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REVIEW: Cigarettes After Sex – ‘Cry’ (Partisan)

Similar to the outfit’s eponymous debut album, Cry is a collection of songs set in an ambient atmosphere with a sombre mood weighing over it,…

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Staff Playlists

PLAYLIST: An Introduction to Merge

Founded in the unassuming surroundings of the university town of Chapel Hill in North Carolina in 1989, Merge Records has proved to be one of…

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PLAYLIST: October 2019

October 2019 has at least offered us the smallest silver lining in the form of new music, despite the outside world seeming to be creeping…

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PLAYLIST: September 2019

As a new academic year begins and the outdoors becomes a little less welcoming, remember you can catch up with all the best new music…

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Live Music

Gigs & Festivals

LIVE REVIEW: Metronomy @ O2 Academy Leeds, 11/11/2019

In 2019, with five excellent albums in a row spanning a decade, Joe Mount’s Metronomy are now one of the biggest live draws on the…

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PREVIEW: Gigs of the Week in Leeds, 9th-15th November

Black Lips @ Brudenell Social Club, Sunday 10th November Marking the 20th anniversary of their formation in 2019, and with their ninth studio album Sing…

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PREVIEW: Gigs of the Week in Leeds, 2nd-8th November

Honeyblood @ Brudenell Social Club, Saturday 2nd November Modern indie favourites Honeyblood – now technically consisting of frontwoman Stina Tweeddale by herself – released their…

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Classic Albums

2000s

CLASSIC ’00s: The xx – ‘xx’

Looking back on the decade that’s passed since the quiet release of The xx’s debut album, it’s slightly strange to think of xx as a…

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CLASSIC ’00s: Florence & The Machine – ‘Lungs’

Big voice, big presence and big sound – the grandeur of Florence Welch and her Machine is something anyone who’s ever had a glimpse of…

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CULT ’00s: Dirty Projectors – ‘Bitte Orca’

It was about Dirty Projectors’ incredible breakout album Bitte Orca that Time Magazine’s Josh Tyrangiel birthed the immortal critical phrase “making the critic’s job undoable”…

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Classic Albums

1990s

CULT ’90s: Rage Against The Machine – ‘The Battle Of Los Angeles’

Weeks before the turn of the 21st century, L.A. revolutionaries Rage Against The Machine unleashed a new album, reminding the world once again of the…

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CULT ’90s: The Magnetic Fields – ’69 Love Songs’

There’s a line in ‘How Fucking Romantic’, halfway through the first disc in The Magnetic Fields’ massive triple-album 69 Love Songs, in which Dudley Klute,…

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CLASSIC ’90s: Jeff Buckley – ‘Grace’

Who could’ve thought that an album that peaked well outside the Top 100 in the charts upon its release, regardless of the ‘underground’ following its…

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Classic Albums

1980s

CULT ’80s: The Replacements – ‘Let It Be’

1984 was a year of landmark underground albums in the American indie scene, with seminal records by Hüsker Dü, R.E.M. and Minutemen all released in…

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CULT ’80s: Beastie Boys – ‘Paul’s Boutique’

In the aftermath of their legendary party-starting debut Licensed To Ill in 1986, Beastie Boys were in a curious place. They moved to the West…

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CLASSIC ’80s: The Cure – ‘Disintegration’

Since their inception in the late ‘70s in the wake of punk, Robert Smith and the rotating cast of The Cure have become a globally…

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Classic Albums

1970s

CLASSIC ’70s: The Specials – ‘The Specials’

A brief but hugely commercially successful and fondly remembered trend within British music at the end of the Seventies, a point at which the social…

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CULT ’70s: Gang Of Four – ‘Entertainment!’

It’s strange even now to conceive of an avowedly left-wing post-punk band, particularly one named after a particularly brutal political faction of communist China associated…

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CLASSIC ’70s: Gary Numan – ‘The Pleasure Principle’

Synthesisers had been in use in popular music long before our collective consciousness normally recognises them as having appeared in the charts. Edgar Froese had…

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Classic Albums

1960s

CULT ’60s: King Crimson – ‘In The Court Of The Crimson King’

Progressive rock, or ‘prog rock’, has consistently had something of a tainted reputation in the world of music criticism ever since the punk revolution in…

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CLASSIC ’60s: The Beatles – ‘Abbey Road’

Not only is it one of the defining pop culture images of the 20th century, but, in retrospect, the iconic front cover of Abbey Road…

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CULT ’60s: Nick Drake – ‘Five Leaves Left’

In contrast to the mythologising that often surrounds rock star deaths, the story of Nick Drake is not a remotely glamorous one. Instead, it is…

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Staff Lists

The Top 50 Tracks of 2018

As a companion piece to our annual end-of-year albums list published earlier this month, The Student Playlist presents The Top 50 Tracks of 2018. You…

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The Top 50 Albums of 2018

Although it’s been a year pock-marked with political and social uncertainty, that sense of upheaval and tension has resulted in some pretty fine art being…

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The Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s

Revisiting any period in popular music is always interesting, insofar as one’s memories of it change and evolve as time passes and the present gets…

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Artist Profiles

Remembering Daniel Johnston

Usually, when summarising the career of an artist in the wake of tragedy, there is a formality to the style, one filled with clichés like…

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“The House of the Jazz, of the Funk, of the Rhythm” – A Beginner’s Guide to A Tribe Called Quest

Lennon and McCartney; Morrissey and Marr; the Gallagher brothers. Some of the most iconic pop music ever made has been predicated by immense partnerships. Looking…

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“Listen To Me, I’m On The Stereo” – A Beginner’s Guide to Pavement

It’s been almost two decades since Pavement were active in any meaningful way, the group’s component parts quietly parting ways in the pursuit of solo…

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