The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Category Reviews

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: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’ (Constellation)

by Matthew Langham ‘Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress’ is the fifth release by Canadian post-rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The release marks the bands first single LP length since their 1997 debut and their second album since returning from their decade-long hiatus. Though the album is four tracks long, it sprawls across forty minutes and can be seen as three movements. The first movement being a slow builder, followed by

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REVIEW: The Prodigy – ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ (Take Me To The Hospital / Cooking Vinyl)

by Ed Biggs When The Prodigy returned in 2009, they had been missing in action for so long that almost anything they put out would  have been well-received. A new generation of ravers had grown up in their shadow, in a world where their collision of punk, house and electro was the starting point for a number of up-and-coming acts in the noughties. Invaders Must Die, while not a match for anything

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REVIEW: Earl Sweatshirt – ‘I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside’ (Tan Cressida / Columbia)

by Ed Biggs The prodigiously young Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt was reportedly very unhappy with his record label for unleashing his second solo album a week earlier than expected. 2013’s Doris was a subtle slow-burner, which at only 44 minutes long played like a rock album in its progression, full of languid, drawling and resolutely un-commercial beat patterns. It received universal critical acclaim, the sound of a man forging

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REVIEW: Death Cab For Cutie – ‘Kintsugi’ (Atlantic)

by Ed Biggs Hang on, when exactly did Death Cab For Cutie become veterans? Throughout the noughties they became something of an institution, holding a reputation for eager, wide-eyed and emotional indie, cruelly typecast in some quarters as good for soundtracking slushy teen dramas like ‘The O.C.’. But perhaps we didn’t notice them growing older. Their eighth album finds them in a state of flux – one of their two ever-present

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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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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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