The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Category Reviews

REVIEW: Iron & Wine + Ben Bridwell – ‘Sing Into My Mouth’ (Brown Records / Black Cricket)

by Ed Biggs Though they can occasionally offer an interesting insight into an artist’s influences, covers albums have a distinctly chequered reputation – no matter how varied the source material, it takes a truly exceptional artist to avoid the potential pitfalls of the exercise. While most can muster up one or two original interpretations, the attempt to do so a dozen times usually produces a flattening effect over the course of

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REVIEW: Years & Years – ‘Communion’ (Polydor / Universal)

by Lauren James I should know better than thinking “hotly anticipated debut” is for anything other than PR and lazy showbiz journalism, yet I still clung to the hope that the much buzzed-about Years & Years would deliver a sound to define 2015. Communion is crammed with the kind of slickly produced house-pop London does so well, yet even singer Olly Alexander’s boyband-perfect voice fails to carve any palpable emotion into

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REVIEW: Little Boots – ‘Working Girl’ (On Repeat)

by Matthew Langham Breaking onto the scene in 2009 with her debut record Hands, Little Boots’ unique style on tracks including ‘Meddle’ and ‘Stuck On Repeat’ drew praise from industry critics, particular for her use of the Tenori-on and the Stylophone. Whilst her 2013 follow-up record Nocturnes was overshadowed by her electronic pop contemporaries including Lady Gaga, Little Boots (aka Blackpool’s Victoria Hesketh) is now CEO of her own record label

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REVIEW: Four Tet – Morning/Evening (Text Records)

by Ed Biggs Operating as Four Tet for over fifteen years, Kieran Hebden has been one of the most consistent forces in the kaleidoscopic collection of sub-genres that constitutes British electronic music, with his 2003 album Rounds universally considered to be a classic. However, his last album, 2013’s Beautiful Rewind, had all the elements that traditionally make up Four Tet records – gentle beats, downtempo rhythms and field recordings making up

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REVIEW: Ezra Furman – ‘Perpetual Motion People’ (Bella Union)

by Matthew Langham Chicago-based troubadour Ezra Furman returns with his third solo album, a highly charged record which springs from OCD, sexuality, religion and alienation. Perpetual Motion People has everything a solid rock ‘n’ roll album should have, full of the pent-up frustrations of lonely youth, one that Furman calls ‘an album for misfits’. Having received praise from BBC6 Music’s Marc Riley (as well as many other music critics) for his

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REVIEW: Bleachers – ‘Strange Desire’ (RCA)

by Ed Biggs The first full-length release of Jack Antonoff’s solo project Bleachers, has been a considerable time in the making. From his work as one third of pop-rock favourites Fun. to his songwriting for the likes of Taylor Swift, he’s always been an unapologetic advocate of a bold, ‘80s-style pop epic, and a couple of singles in the shape of ‘I Wanna Get Better’ and ‘Rollercoaster’ made a serious dent

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REVIEW: Lucy Rose – ‘Work It Out’ (Columbia)

by Ed Biggs Having worked with Bombay Bicycle Club on a couple of their albums at the start of the decade, English singer-songwriter Lucy Rose stepped out of the shadows with her enjoyable and compelling debut album Like I Used To, which enjoyed a decent life in the public consciousness, being mined for several singles and used in TV dramas such as ‘Girls’, ‘Skins’ and ‘The Vampire Diaries’.

REVIEW: Wavves & Cloud Nothings – ‘No Life For Me’ (Ghost Ramp)

by Ed Biggs This short but sweet treat by Wavves’ Nathan Williams and Cloud Nothings songwriter Dylan Baldi appeared by surprise on iTunes and Bandcamp right at the end of June, with very little fanfare accompanying it subsequently. Which is a bit of shame, as No Life For Me is a pretty accurate summation of the appeal of both bands collided into a succinct presentation: admittedly, Baldi’s and William’s similarities vastly

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REVIEW: The Orb – ‘Moonbuilding 2703 AD’ (Kompakt)

by Ed Biggs Those of you with very sharp musical memories might recall the early ‘90s heyday of The Orb, a cult favourite for those ravers whose favourite part of the night was the 5am chillout room. A dub-influenced ambient duo now currently in its sixth incarnation – German electronic composer Thomas Fehlmann has been working with the ever-present Orb founder Alex Paterson since the late ‘00s – they enjoyed a

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REVIEW: Wolf Alice – ‘My Love Is Cool’ (Dirty Hit)

by Ed Biggs We’ve been waiting nearly two and a half years for this moment, an absolute eternity in our rapidly churning social media age of hype and backlash. Wolf Alice appeared on radar back in February 2013 with their first single ‘Fluffy’, but their origins go way back to 2010 and their embryonic self-titled EP. Releasing only a couple of singles and EPs since then, the London quartet have been

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