The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Category Reviews

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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REVIEW: Everything Everything – ‘Get To Heaven’ (Sony)

by Ed Biggs Ever since they first bamboozled the indie scene with their absolutely-anything-goes approach, the perennial problem with Everything Everything is that they’ve always sounded better in theory than in practice. In many ways, their meta approach to influences and culture is perfectly suited to the information age, characterised by social media, news overload and the conflation of the personal and the political. What could be more contemporary than a

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REVIEW: Gengahr – ‘A Dream Outside’ (Transgressive)

by Matthew Langham Shelved alongside the likes of Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, London-based Gengahr have been one of the main critic’s choices for bands to watch in 2015. Following on from their brilliant set at Live At Leeds, their full-length debut A Dream Outside is a melting pot of summery, psychedelic pop hooks. On first listen it might float by without any immediate impact – after all, the air

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REVIEW: Active Child – ‘Mercy’ (Vagrant)

by Ed Biggs Active Child is the recording name of New Jersey electronic music artist Pat Grossi, who won plenty of plaudits for his first album You Are All I See in 2011. A porous mixture of electronica, post-dubstep and minimalist pop accentuated by Grossi’s harp-playing skills and his striking falsetto that was developed through a childhood spent in choirs, it was cited by many as an example of the future

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REVIEW: Hudson Mohawke – ‘Lantern’ (Warp)

by Ed Biggs Since he released his debut album Butter in 2009, Glaswegian electronic wiz kid Hudson Mohawke (real name Ross Birchard) has become something of a producer-by-appointment to the hip-hop royalty of America. In the last five years, he’s accumulated credits on albums by Drake, Pusha T, Azealia Banks and Lil Wayne, and was named as Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. label’s in-house producer, all for his talent at infusing rap music

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REVIEW: Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – ‘Surf’ (self-released)

by Ed Biggs Franz Ferdinand & Sparks may have recently sung about how collaborations don’t work – oh yes, they do! Surf, a weird and wonderful record surprise-released at the end of May as a free download, sees a very unlikely (and probably one-off) combination of hip-hop upstart Chance The Rapper, young jazz musician Donnie Trumpet (the stage name of 21 year old Nico Segal), his backing band and a stellar

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