The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Posts by Ed Biggs

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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REVIEW: James Bay – ‘Chaos And The Calm’ (Republic)

by Ed Biggs Hertfordshire-born singer-songwriter James Bay, this year’s recipient of the Brit Awards’ ‘Critics Choice’ Award, has got virtually all of the music press baffled. Just who on earth are these ‘critics’? Do they simply mean Republic’s A&R men? Because aside from looking photogenic and wearing a jaunty hat, nobody seems to be able to explain why Bay deserves any kind of special attention at all. A fellow graduate

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REVIEW: The Go! Team – ‘The Scene Between’ (Memphis Industries)

by Matthew Langham It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the release of The Go! Team’s debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike! Its inescapable anthem ‘Ladyflash’, released on an incredible three separate occasions seemed to be on every TV advertisement during 2004, and it still sounds fresh today. Their first album in over four years since the bland Rolling Blackouts (2011) serves as a pale imitation in comparison to their

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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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