The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Category Best New Music

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: 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: 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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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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REVIEW: Purity Ring – ‘Another Eternity’ (4AD)

by Ed Biggs Three years after their exceptional debut album Shrines, the world has now just caught up with Purity Ring. The Edmonton duo’s quirky, sparse brand of electro-pop seemed to suggest a future that had not yet arrived but was just around the corner. Along with similar minimalist artists like Grimes, they’ve influenced the aesthetics of pop and hip-hop in the time they’ve been away. Despite triggering a frenzied

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REVIEW: Public Service Broadcasting – ‘The Race For Space’ (Test Card Recordings)

by Matthew Langham Inform-Educate-Entertain was one of the most distinctive releases from 2013, made of up of public service audio clips, and interweaved with choppy riffs and electronic interludes; Public Service Broadcasting’s second release shows that they aren’t a one trick pony. The core elements of their debut remain. Archived audio clips from the British Film Institute mix with a plethora of moody rhythms to boost the emotional resonance of

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REVIEW: Idlewild – ‘Everything Ever Written’ (Empty Words)

by Ed Biggs Six years out of the game isn’t that long when you compare it to the huge swathes of time groups like My Bloody Valentine and Suede have left between records, but it’s proved to be too much for Idlewild fans, who successfully launched an online petition for their heroes to make more music early last year. But why? Though they frequently landed Top 40 singles, Top 10

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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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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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