The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Posts by Ed Biggs

LIVE: The Jesus & Mary Chain ‘Psychocandy at 30’ Tour – Leeds, O2 Academy, 17.02.2015

by Ed Biggs Released thirty years ago this November, The Jesus & Mary Chain’s first album Psychocandy is one of the most important developmental milestones in rock music as we know it today, not to mention one of the most aesthetically pleasing records of the 1980s. With their brand of simple, heartfelt ‘60s pop melodies buried under an avalanche of squalling feedback, Jim and William Reid redefined the boundaries within

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REVIEW: Kodaline – ‘Coming Up For Air’ (Sony / B-Unique)

by Ed Biggs Boy, has Chris Martin got a lot to answer for. Irish ‘alternative rock’ quartet Kodaline, having found chart success with their brand of polished, radio-friendly pop-guitar ballads with their first full-length In A Perfect World, give us a follow-up less than two years later. But as with that, their second album Coming Up For Air must rank as one of the most egregious instances of musical mis-labelling

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REVIEW : Father John Misty – ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ (Sub Pop)

by Matthew Langham Former Fleet Foxes member Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty, returns with I Love You, Honeybear, his follow-up to his 2012 debut record Fear Fun, the second under his latest moniker. The self-described concept record is more of a confessional, offering his revelations on love and life following his marriage. This doesn’t make it a soppy record exactly, but it gives a very visual context to his

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CLASSIC ’00s: Bloc Party – ‘Silent Alarm’

by Ed Biggs People tend to think of the mid noughties as a great time for British guitar music. At a cursory glance, this is correct. The breakthrough of The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys grabbed national headlines as their music crossed over to mainstream audiences and, at the time, it felt like we were living through some kind of golden age, with debut records from new and exciting bands coming

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REVIEW : Peace – ‘Happy People’ (Sony / Columbia)

by Ed Biggs British guitar acts making second albums don’t have a particularly great record of late, but surely a band as joyously, air-punchingly upbeat as Peace might be able to dispel such fears through their sheer optimism, right? Sort of. In Love took a carefree approach, the equivalent of throwing paint at a blank canvas and creating a masterpiece in the process. It wasn’t terribly original, but its joie

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CULT ’80s: The Smiths – ‘Meat Is Murder’

by Ed Biggs If Rough Trade had got their act together sooner, The Smiths’ chart positions might have reflected the true extent of their popularity. If you didn’t know anything about them and looked at the commercial performances of their singles and albums, you’d never guess that it was the body of work by the most significant British guitar act arguably since The Beatles. Just two of their 18 singles

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REVIEW : The Districts – ‘A Flourish And A Spoil’ (Fat Possum)

by Ed Biggs Philadelphia’s The Districts set the heart of many an indie fan a-flutter this time last year at SXSW, with their smart, sophisticated take on rock. Though all of the members are still in their teens, their first couple of singles felt like a quick journey through the annals of rock and indie history, with a magpie approach to sound and style that suggested that they had very

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REVIEW : Two Gallants – ‘We Are Undone’ (ATO Records)

by Matthew Langham With a back catalogue of over fourteen years’ experience and now on their fifth studio album, San Francisco-based Two Gallants are one of the most consistent US rock duo’s over the last decade, in comparison to many of their US compatriots. Since their debut release The Throes back in 2004, they are a band who have been better received stateside rather than across the pond; their biggest

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REVIEW : Aphex Twin – ‘Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2’ EP (Warp)

by Ed Biggs Richard D. James returned under his most notorious moniker Aphex Twin last September, sending musical connoisseurs and internets forums into meltdown. His reputation had grown enough in his thirteen year absence to land him an appearance in the UK Top 10, but Syro drew some (very minor) criticism from some quarters. Superb as it was, it didn’t give the impression that James was really pushing himself or

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