The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Category Reviews

REVIEW: Kodaline – ‘Coming Up For Air’ (Sony / B-Unique)

by Ed Biggs Boy, has Chris Martin got a lot to answer for. Irish ‘alternative rock’ quartet Kodaline, having found chart success with their brand of polished, radio-friendly pop-guitar ballads with their first full-length In A Perfect World, give us a follow-up less than two years later. But as with that, their second album Coming Up For Air must rank as one of the most egregious instances of musical mis-labelling

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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 : Peace – ‘Happy People’ (Sony / Columbia)

by Ed Biggs British guitar acts making second albums don’t have a particularly great record of late, but surely a band as joyously, air-punchingly upbeat as Peace might be able to dispel such fears through their sheer optimism, right? Sort of. In Love took a carefree approach, the equivalent of throwing paint at a blank canvas and creating a masterpiece in the process. It wasn’t terribly original, but its joie

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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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REVIEW : Two Gallants – ‘We Are Undone’ (ATO Records)

by Matthew Langham With a back catalogue of over fourteen years’ experience and now on their fifth studio album, San Francisco-based Two Gallants are one of the most consistent US rock duo’s over the last decade, in comparison to many of their US compatriots. Since their debut release The Throes back in 2004, they are a band who have been better received stateside rather than across the pond; their biggest

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REVIEW : Aphex Twin – ‘Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2’ EP (Warp)

by Ed Biggs Richard D. James returned under his most notorious moniker Aphex Twin last September, sending musical connoisseurs and internets forums into meltdown. His reputation had grown enough in his thirteen year absence to land him an appearance in the UK Top 10, but Syro drew some (very minor) criticism from some quarters. Superb as it was, it didn’t give the impression that James was really pushing himself or

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REVIEW : Pond – ‘Man It Feels Like Space Again’ (Caroline)

by Lauren James In retrospect, you’d have Nick Allbrook would have to be crazy to have stepped away from the Grammy-nominated Tame Impala, but while his former band is lapping up the plaudits, he’s the one busy making the music. The Perth multi-instrumentalist is able to stamp his personality much more effectively on his own project Pond, which celebrates its sixth album in as many years. Man It Feels Like Space Again is

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REVIEW : Fall Out Boy – ‘American Beauty / American Psycho’ (Island / DCD2)

by Matthew Langham Fall Out Boy’s four year break ended in 2013 with their fifth LP Save Rock And Roll. Two years on and their new record defines how the music industry has changed since their biggest single ‘Sugar, We’re Going Down’, almost ten years ago. Considering the length of their hiatus, it is difficult not to admire the band’s longevity and very loyal fan base. Between playing festivals, they

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REVIEW : Enter Shikari – ‘The Mindsweep’ (Ambush Reality)

by Ed Biggs Where to begin with Enter Shikari? A band that in essence seeks to marry post-hardcore and happy hardcore and any genre they happen upon in between, they won the John Peel Innovation Award back in 2007, possibly because their brand of ‘electronicore’ was adjacent to the then-popular ‘nu-rave’ movement. Their combination of confrontational politics, extreme sound and mind-boggling arrangements is hard going at the best of times,

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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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