The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Category New Album Releases

REVIEW : Gaz Coombes – ‘Matador’ (Hot Fruit)

by Matthew Langham Making up one third of Oxford Britpop band Supergrass, Gaz Coombes is a million miles away from his indie roots on his second solo album, Matador. His 2012 solo debut record Here Come The Bombs saw him cut ties with his prank-happy lyrics in pursuit of a more serious side to his persona, but the follow-up makes another leap forwards in the development of his career. It

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REVIEW : The Charlatans – ‘Modern Nature’ (BMG)

by Ed Biggs In the history of rock ‘n’ roll survivors, there can be very few that can claim to have emotionally suffered more, or endured more changes in the pop landscape, than The Charlatans. Having begun their career at the height of the ‘Madchester’ baggy sound in 1990, they successfully negotiated the zeitgeist change to Britpop in the middle of the decade, and have maintained a consistent fan-base ever

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REVIEW : Björk – ‘Vulnicura’ (One Little Indian)

by Ed Biggs From the release of her debut album in 1993, Icelandic chanteuse Björk has been responsible for some of the most unique and forward-thinking pop music of the last two decades, and even before that as a member of The Sugarcubes. Groundbreaking albums like Homogenic (1998) and Volta (2007) helped shape the musical landscapes of the years that followed. Her last album, 2011’s Biophilia, was billed as a

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REVIEW : The Decemberists – ‘What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World’ (Capitol)

by Ed Biggs Portland’s The Decemberists scored a surprise Number 1 hit on the US Billboard 200 with their last album The King Is Dead almost exactly three years ago. Granted, it was during the traditionally slow sales month of January, but it was gratifying to see this intelligent and passionate indie group gradually gaining momentum and recognition in the decade since their formation, reflected in a Grammy nomination for

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REVIEW : Mark Ronson – ‘Uptown Special’ (Columbia)

by Ed Biggs Currently sitting atop the UK Singles chart for a fifth non-consecutive week, Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’ is absolutely everywhere. It’s a ubiquity to which he’s accustomed: 2007’s Version was the coffee table album of the year, yielding six singles and shifting close to a million copies. But by the same token, Ronson is also accustomed to his divisive status. For every person who loved Version’s playful approach

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REVIEW : Sleater-Kinney – ‘No Cities To Love’ (Sub Pop)

by Ed Biggs Of all of the well-documented reunions in music over the last five years, few make as much sense as Portland’s Sleater-Kinney. Formed in 1994 and as contemporaries of Bikini Kill and the riot-grrl movement, there was always something more cerebral, more lasting about them. Their de facto leader Carrie Brownstein, who has since found fame in the TV world having co-written ‘Portlandia’, said in 2008 that she’d only consider

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REVIEW : Viet Cong – ‘Viet Cong’ (Jagjaguwar)

by Ed Biggs Following the demise of Canadian group Women after the death of guitarist Chris Reimer, two of its ex-members Matt Flegel and Mike Wallace hired local musicians Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen and decided to soldier on in the form of Viet Cong. The new group dabbles in a more cinematic variant of the dark, grimy post-punk that Women played, and their self-titled debut follows twelve months after

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REVIEW : Belle & Sebastian – ‘Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance’ (Rough Trade / Matador)

by Ed Biggs Almost two decades after forming the group as a school project they all assumed that they would disband after two years, Glasgow’s Belle & Sebastian are still going. Nineteen years of wistful, literate, shy but melodically bold indie-pop have shown them to be a band of paradoxical qualities. Allmusic sums them up perfectly: “private but not insular, pretty but not wimpy”. A reissue campaign of their back

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REVIEW : Panda Bear – ‘Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper’ (Domino)

by Ed Biggs Taking time off from recording a purported new Animal Collective album due later this year, Noah Lennox a.k.a. Panda Bear has delivered his fifth solo album, which bears the cartoonish title Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper. It sees him reunite with Pete ‘Sonic Boom’ Kember on production, and just like 2011’s Tomboy, it unsurprisingly owes a lot to Spacemen 3. The grooves are head-nodding, the atmosphere

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