The ultimate freshers’ anthology

Nouse Music offers the essential records to kickstart your university experience

Source: Drop

Source: Drop

The All-Nighter: Burial – Untrue

When it comes to actually getting work done, music is an invaluable tool to help us wade through the mire of last-minute essays and assignments. For those who will inevitably experience the feeling of snuggling down in bed only to be stabbed with anxiety and awoken by the realisation that the 2,500 words close analysis you were set two weeks ago is due in approximately four hours and thirty two minutes, Untrue is your answer. The musical equivalent of 200mg of modafinil, the South London producer Burial doesn’t pull punches with your situation. Over an array of dark synths, Playstation 1 samples and garage beats, Burial’s Untrue is a persistent driving force that displays itself as a warped and oppressive experience that instils determination and focus like nothing else. Dance music never sounded so thick and imposing as it does on Untrue, and if you’ve left that assignment to the last minute at 3.08 AM on a Sunday, it’s certainly the record for you. AN

The Chill-Out: Jamie Cullum – Twentysomething

When university life takes its toll and you’re craving a little space, let Cullum’s silky smooth vocals melt your worries away. Its youthful bounce and gentle demeanour make this album a perfect middle ground for any music taste. Next time the deadlines are getting you down or your housemates are driving you mad just block out the world with ‘Singing In The Rain’. His soulful timing gives every track a little skip, just enough to perk you up on the rainiest of days. Stay upbeat with ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’, mellow out to ‘These Are The Days’ or dream of romance to ‘Blame It On My Youth’. The deluxe edition features a cover of Pharrell’s ‘Fronin’, the perfect post-party chill track. Even after a dozen listens, Twentysomething still manages to bring rich relaxation, and is essential for any music collection. EL

The Noise-Blocker: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven

Through the natural progression of the academic year, the number of students retreating to the overly-heated library walls increases, and with this so does noise. Of course if you’re lucky enough to find a seat in the silent areas of the JB Morrell in mid-May then noise is the least of your worries, but if you’re like the vast majority of students stuffing themselves onto the floors of the studious buzz-zone you’re going to struggle with noise. This is where post-rock steps in and why we should all be eternally grateful to groups of long-haired politicos scraping screwdrivers across guitars, because they are grade-savers. Godspeed You! Black Emperor really are the kings of post-rock and know how to blot out external noise allowing you to be absorbed in a wave of horns, blaring guitars and percussion. Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven delivers on all fronts of great post-rock being overwhelming, all-encompassing and simply captivating, allowing you to remove distractions and get stuck into your revision. AN

The Friday Feeling: Foster the People – Torches 

The days may be getting shorter and darker, but Foster the People’s 2011 album is drenched in Californian sunshine. Right from the start, ‘Helena Beat’ throws you into an upbeat mood before reaching their hit, ‘Pumped Up Kicks’. This is, of course, equally suitable for personal listening to put a spring in your step on the way back from the last seminar of the week, or to put on the speakers as you crack out the beers at 6pm on Friday afternoon, ready for a weekend of blissful sleep and rest. Delving deeper into the album reveals some 1970s  disco beats and falsetto vocals, all with the relentlessly cheerful and inspiring synth that forms the core of their sound. It’s not all the same, however. Later tracks become more introspective, but this has the effect of easing you out of the high gently, rather than leting you come crashing down at the final crescendo. JR

The 4am Comedown: Portico Quartet – Knee Deep in the North Sea

With the sudden and shattering removal of Willow two years ago, York students have unfairly lost out on post-club nightlife leading to more students rolling out of Mansion or Kuda to simply go home. Once you’ve made the trek back from town you’re pretty much zonked but you’re not ready for bed just yet. You need something calm to accompany the world-solving conversations that are bubbling to the surface as you drink milk from the carton and try to form a nutrient rich meal out of tinned sweetcorn, pitta bread and pesto. Portico Quartet’s first LP Knee Deep in the North Sea delivers calm more than anything else. With the virtuosic yet tasteful sax playing of Jack Wyllie and exotic hang-drum countermelodies provided by now-indie pop darling Nick Mulvey, Knee Deep in the North Sea provides the sultry and relaxing air needed after a stonker of an evening that has left your trainers and head in similar states. AN

Leave a comment