The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Latest Reviews

REVIEW: Battles – ‘Juice B Crypts’ (Warp)

Complexity often makes engaging with music difficult, after all it is hard to get along with weirdness. But this latest release from the now two-piece…

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REVIEW: Floating Points – ‘Crush’ (Ninja Tune / Pluto)

When Sam Shepherd released his first Floating Points album Elaenia around four years ago, some fans felt that the producer was holding something back in…

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REVIEW: Freese Trio – ‘The Beast In The Blueprint’ (self-released)

In a society where projecting a strong, unshakeable image of yourself is deemed massively important, we see a lack of focus on mental health and…

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REVIEW: Richard Dawson – ‘2020’ (Domino)

With peculiar yet familiar images of modern life, the folk-inspired songwriter Richard Dawson is back with another idiosyncratic record full of strong melodies and at…

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REVIEW: Bodega – ‘Shiny New Model’ EP (What’s Your Rupture?)

The Brooklyn-formed group Bodega first appeared on many people’s radars in 2018, seemingly fully formed, and their first album release Endless Scroll established their minimalistic…

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REVIEW: Big Thief – ‘Two Hands’ (4AD)

While five months ago we were lifted up into space, gifted with the glistening, galactical and frankly excellent U.F.O.F., we now find ourselves back on earth, more…

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Staff Playlists

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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An Introduction to Warp

Time and place play a critical role in explaining the rise of Warp Records and how it achieved the kind of success that it did.…

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Live Music

Gigs & Festivals

PREVIEW: Gigs of the Week in Leeds, 19th-25th October

Frankie Cosmos @ Belgrave Music Hall, Saturday 19th October Four albums by the age of 25 would be impressive enough, until you dig deeper into…

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PREVIEW: Gigs of the Week, 12th-18th October

Pip Blom @ Brudenell Social Club, Saturday 12th October Dealing in lo-fi, buzzsaw pop-punk gems derived from the greatest parts of alternative rock history, Dutch…

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PREVIEW: Gigs of the Week in Leeds, 5th-11th October

Teen @ Oporto, Sunday 6th October With four albums of quality R&B-inflected indie under their belts, including the excellent Good Fruit released back in March,…

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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: 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 ’90s: Portishead – ‘Dummy’

Of all of the new genres that Britain threw up during the Nineties, trip-hop was the most quintessentially British sound of them all. Skewed beats…

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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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