The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Posts by Ed Biggs

REVIEW: Courtney Barnett – ‘Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’ (Mom + Pop / Marathon / Milk!)

by Matthew Langham and Ed Biggs Following on from the word-of-mouth success of her 2013 double EP A Sea Of Split Peas, it’s quite hard to believe that Sometimes… is Courtney Barnett’s debut album. Already, she has gained a significant following on the back of her EP which included tracks, ‘Avante Gardener’ and ‘History Eraser’. The former track documenting an unfortunate day in which she had an allergic reaction whilst

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REVIEW: Lonelady – ‘Hinterland’ (Warp)

by Matthew Langham Manchester-based Lonelady, real name Julie Campbell, returns after five years with the follow-up to her debut record Nerve Up. Her new album Hinterland is a clever throwback to ‘80s Manchester, with a solid core of electronic beats and catchy basslines reminiscent of classic New Order hits. The mechanical elements of tracks including ‘Bunkerpop’ and ‘Groove It Out’ give her perhaps an unfair comparison to La Roux, but

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REVIEW: Laura Marling – ‘Short Movie’ (Virgin)

by Ed Biggs Following her resplendent fourth album Once I Was An Eagle, which was our second highest-ranked album of 2013 and had critics drawing breathless (and justified) comparisons with the great Joni Mitchell, British alt-folk heroine Laura Marling was suffering from exhaustion. Dissatisfied with the initial batch of songs she wrote in the aftermath, she recharged her batteries in Los Angeles by travelling, meeting people and accumulating experiences and

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LIVE: Muse – Manchester Academy, 23.03.2015

by Lauren James When Muse announced a fortnight ago that they were embarking on a surprise small venue tour, something stirred in Musers of old. Now more accustomed to spying the action though binoculars at a festival, fans salivated at the prospects of a low-key, academy tour where the whites of the Teignmouth trio’s eyes could actually be seen. Looking around the room of fans at Manchester Academy on Sunday

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REVIEW: The Cribs – ‘For All My Sisters’ (Sony RED / Sonic Blew)

by Ed Biggs What is it about The Cribs that inspires such devotion? Every true-spirited indie fan knows the answer. The Wakefield trio’s wholehearted devotion to the independent music cause has always been genuine and diligent. Their emergence in 2004, alongside a whole host of lesser grotty British “indie” groups now consigned to the landfill of history, has always seen them unfairly labelled as ‘cocky’, ‘swaggering’ or ‘brash’. The truth

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REVIEW: Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ (Aftermath / Interscope / Top Dawg)

by Ed Biggs Arguably the most anticipated, talked-about and hyped-up album of 2015, To Pimp A Butterfly has an awful lot to live up to. Following a well-received debut, 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city sold nearly 1.5 million copies in the US and set up Kendrick Lamar in a great lineage of rappers, the heir to Dr. Dre, 2Pac. As such, he’s now got the same weight of expectations on

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CLASSIC ’60s: Bob Dylan – ‘Bringing It All Back Home’

by Ed Biggs It may not seem like it sometimes, but there’s a good reason why some people go on, and on, and on about Bob Dylan: it is quite impossible to overstate the influence he had upon the sound and structure of popular music. He was arguably the first pop musician to use the album format as vehicle to make an artistic statement – before 1964, the album was

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REVIEW: Modest Mouse – ‘Strangers To Ourselves’ (Epic)

by Matthew Langham A 22 year career has seen Modest Mouse go from fuzzy indie rock in the early ‘00, through to a sea shanty influenced rock and now, yet again, a new blend of deranged pop. Johnny Marr’s contribution to the 2007 record We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank was firmly underestimated and it helped pull in a US number one record as well as over half

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CLASSIC ’90s: Depeche Mode – ‘Violator’

by Ed Biggs The narrative arc of Depeche Mode is one of the most intriguing evolutions in pop history. When they began their long career in 1980, they were at the lighter end of the post-punk backlash against guitars, often critically derided but achieving commercial success with simple, upbeat synth-pop hits like ‘New Life’ and ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’. But after one album they were left stranded by their original

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REVIEW: Matthew E White – ‘Fresh Blood’ (Domino)

by Matthew Langham Singer, songwriter and producer Matthew E White is back with his second record following on from his successful and critically acclaimed debut Big Inner. His big beard and long hair, as well as his distinctive soulful psychedelic melodies, have developed in Fresh Blood with a more playful style, unlike his debut which was heavier and less sensitive. ‘Rock and Roll Is Cold’ is a simplistic kick-back song,

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