The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Category Best New Music

REVIEW: Girlpool – ‘Before The World Was Big’ (Wichita)

by Ed Biggs L.A.-via-Philadelphia punk duo Girlpool made one of the most bracing mini-LPs of 2014, their self-titled effort which was re-released by the prestigious indie imprint Wichita by the end of the year. Now up to their first proper album release Cleo Tucker (guitar, vocals) and Harmony Tividad (bass, vocals) (there is no drummer) use Before The World Was Big as a blank canvas to convey a complete distillation of

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REVIEW: Jamie xx – ‘In Colour’ (Young Turks)

by Ed Biggs It’s been nearly seven years since The xx became one of the last word-of-mouth success stories in pop, their self-titled debut album capturing the hearts and minds of the public with its exploration of space, both physical and musical. While the group’s singers Oliver Sim and Romy Madley-Croft often stole the limelight with their intimate lyrical back-and-forths, the real secret to their brilliance was Jamie Smith (aka. Jamie

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REVIEW: Florence + The Machine – ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ (Island)

by Ed Biggs Florence + The Machine was probably the last seriously big pop act to emerge from the noughties, the bracing and physical voice and the startling, gothic imagery of Florence Welch’s songs propelling her 2009 debut Lungs and its 2011 successor Ceremonials to platinum-selling status on both sides of the Atlantic. For her third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, Welch parts ways with James Ford and Paul

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REVIEW: Holly Herndon – ‘Platform’ (4AD)

by Matthew Langham Cards on the table here – I’ll be the first person to admit that I’ve never really taken to electronic artists who solely use laptops – particularly in a live setting. I’ve often thought the physical art of making music and mixing has instead been removed by the laptop. For all I know they could be doing anything while pretending to DJ – I guess I just like

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REVIEW: Mini Mansions – ‘The Great Pretenders’ (Fiction / Electromagnetic)

by Ed Biggs To listen to the glorious, classic pop stylings of Mini Mansions, you’d never guess that it was a Queens Of The Stone Age side-project. But it’s hardly surprising, given the highly eclectic nature of that group’s last album …Like Clockwork, that their members should be indulging in such varied musical disciplines. QOTSA bassist Michael Shuman set up the group in 2009 with guitarist and co-vocalist Tyler Parkford and

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REVIEW: Chastity Belt – ‘Time To Go Home’ (Hardly Art)

by Ed Biggs One of the most promising new American indie acts of the decade, all-female four piece Chastity Belt have moved up in the world with their second album, and their first for a national independent label. Formed in the small university city of Walla Walla, WA, they fit neatly into a lineage of intelligent indie from Northwestern America dating back to Sleater-Kinney and Beat Happening. Rather than stick with

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REVIEW: God Damn – ‘Vultures’ (One Little Indian)

by Ed Biggs Highly acclaimed by Kerrang! magazine and backed by a fiercely devoted fanbase in their hometown of Wolverhampton, the ferociously loud duo God Damn unleash their debut album after three years of admirably hard work. Taking their cues from classic heavy rock and indie influences ranging from Nirvana to Neutral Milk Hotel, their powerful yet complex sound is all the more impressive when you consider they’re just a guitarist/vocalist

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REVIEW: Blur – ‘The Magic Whip’ (Parlophone)

by Ed Biggs The announcement of the first Blur album in over a decade, and the first with Graham Coxon since 1999, was one of the biggest music news stories of the first part of 2015. We’d had the big reunion (two of them), the emotional catharsis, the burying of hatchets, and for many, that would have been enough. But the existence of The Magic Whip seems to have solidified the

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REVIEW: Speedy Ortiz – ‘Foil Deer’ (Carpark)

by Ed Biggs When Massachusetts native Sadie Dupuis first began Speedy Ortiz as a casual recording nom de plume four years ago, she can’t have presumed that the indie world would be anticipating her third album as much as this in 2015. After an internet release that year called The Death Of Speedy Ortiz, her group attracted the attention of the national rock press in 2013 with Major Arcana, the kind

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REVIEW: Passion Pit – ‘Kindred’ (Columbia)

by Ed Biggs Electronic pop outfit Passion Pit, the brainchild of Massachusetts native Michael Angelakos, have delivered an eagerly awaited third album. Kindred follows three years after the well-received Gossamer, which achieved the interesting balance of sounding musically upbeat but thematically bleak. In it, Angelakos frequently lamented and berated himself about how he tended to let down people close to him. In the aftermath of its release, he revealed his

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