The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Posts by Ed Biggs

CULT ’90s: Guided By Voices – ‘Alien Lanes’

by Ed Biggs With their penchant for alcohol and short, sweet lo-fi songs, Dayton’s Guided By Voices are regarded as one of the defining underground bands of the ‘90s. Their unpretentious brand of hook-laden indie rock, compressed into minute-long song sketches, has captured the hearts of their small but utterly dedicated fanbase ever since their inception in the mid-‘80s. After nearly a decade of slogging, and having finally gained some

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REVIEW: Circa Waves – ‘Young Chasers’ (Transgressive)

by Matthew Langham It’s been a whirlwind two years for Liverpool’s Circa Waves. An opening slot on Glastonbury’s Other Stage and build-up of a now very large fan base has now left the four-piece in a strong position in the first quarter of 2015. Their debut record has been a long time coming – fifteen months since the word started getting out – and it makes no bones about its

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REVIEW: Lower Dens – ‘Escape From Evil’ (Ribbon Music)

by Ed Biggs The third album by Baltimore’s Lower Dens promises to see Jana Hunter move them away from subjects like evolution, chemistry and science fiction towards affairs of the heart and soul. 2012’s Nootropics, while it took a while to penetrate, grew into one of the most rewarding albums released in the last five years to revisit, a mix of post-rock and pop that left plenty of space for

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REVIEW: Sufjan Stevens – ‘Carrie & Lowell’ (Asthmatic Kitty)

by Ed Biggs In a career spanning fifteen years, American auteur Sufjan Stevens has made six-disc Christmas albums, started and abandoned a series of albums about the 50 U.S. states, made experimental electronic records, collaborated with rappers, and even had a residency at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Yet for all this, we’ve never really gotten to know him very much. However, this might be about to change with his

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REVIEW: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’ (Constellation)

by Matthew Langham ‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’ is the fifth release by Canadian post-rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The release marks the bands first single LP length since their 1997 debut and their second album since returning from their decade-long hiatus. Though the album is four tracks long, it sprawls across forty minutes and can be seen as three movements. The first movement being a slow builder, followed by

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REVIEW: The Prodigy – ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ (Take Me To The Hospital / Cooking Vinyl)

by Ed Biggs When The Prodigy returned in 2009, they had been missing in action for so long that almost anything they put out would  have been well-received. A new generation of ravers had grown up in their shadow, in a world where their collision of punk, house and electro was the starting point for a number of up-and-coming acts in the noughties. Invaders Must Die, while not a match for anything

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REVIEW: Earl Sweatshirt – ‘I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside’ (Tan Cressida / Columbia)

by Ed Biggs The prodigiously young Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt was reportedly very unhappy with his record label for unleashing his second solo album a week earlier than expected. 2013’s Doris was a subtle slow-burner, which at only 44 minutes long played like a rock album in its progression, full of languid, drawling and resolutely un-commercial beat patterns. It received universal critical acclaim, the sound of a man forging

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REVIEW: Death Cab For Cutie – ‘Kintsugi’ (Atlantic)

by Ed Biggs Hang on, when exactly did Death Cab For Cutie become veterans? Throughout the noughties they became something of an institution, holding a reputation for eager, wide-eyed and emotional indie, cruelly typecast in some quarters as good for soundtracking slushy teen dramas like ‘The O.C.’. But perhaps we didn’t notice them growing older. Their eighth album finds them in a state of flux – one of their two ever-present

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CLASSIC ’90s: Radiohead – ‘The Bends’

by Ed Biggs In 1994, few would have predicted that Radiohead would turn out to be the most influential rock group of the next twenty years. Then merely one of many post-grunge bands with a moderately well-received debut, their defining characteristic was the global hit single ‘Creep’ which, while it was their breakthrough, looked like it was becoming an albatross in terms of people’s expectations of them. The ridiculously tame

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PODCAST: March 2015 edition

Lauren James and Ed Biggs present a look back at the biggest and best albums released in March 2015 – click here to listen now! Including reviews of the following albums: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday Modest Mouse – Strangers To Ourselves Laura Marling – Short Movie Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly The Cribs – Burning For No One The Prodigy – The Day Is

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