The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Category Best New Music

REVIEW: Young Fathers – ‘White Men Are Black Men Too’ (Big Dada)

by Ed Biggs Celebrated Edinburgh trio Young Fathers have wasted no time following up their Mercury Music Prize-winning album Dead. That album was a frequently disorientating assault on the senses, stuffed so full of competing elements that it demanding revisiting simply to take everything in. But, crucially, it had heart, something the likes of Flying Lotus or Everything Everything are sometimes accused of not having in their all-out rush to

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REVIEW: Waxahatchee – ‘Ivy Tripp’ (Wichita / Merge)

by Ed Biggs Since her 2012 debut American Weekend, Alabama-born New Yorker Katie Crutchfield has quietly become one of the most compelling solo performers of the new decade. The home-made acoustic qualities of that debut were electrified on the following year’s excellent Cerulean Salt, but until now Waxahatchee material has always been able to be performed with minimal help from others. Ivy Tripp is, by contrast, a lot less single-minded

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REVIEW: Drenge – ‘Undertow’ (Infectious)

by Ed Biggs Drenge’s self-titled 2013 debut absolutely dripped with aggression and ennui. The Loveless brothers’ directed their boredom at their formative teenage years spent stuck in grey rural Derbyshire. But as impressive as that racket was, it risked pegging them as a one trick pony, as many similar bands in the recent past who have relied so much on stripped-down volume have struggled to project in other directions and on other

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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: 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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