The National Student

The National Student is an independent, free, national publication for higher education students in the United Kingdom.

Featured Writers

Jessica Fleming

Music journalist from the North West of England. Currently studying Communications and Business Studies at University of Liverpool. …

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Alisa Anwar

An aspiring news broadcast journalist with a range of print, online, and broadcasting experience.

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Jo Bullen

I'm an English teacher with an interest in literature and literacy for all. I’ve been teaching for 8 …

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Latest Articles

Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 06/08/19

Another week, another Old Town Road Remix. Taking the spotlight away from Lil Nas X for a moment, there was some seriously good new music released this week. And we have the evidence to prove it - right here. Your invitation extends from a miserable disco to the darker side of human consciousness. Check out the best new music, from the best new artists.
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Your ultimate music festival survival guide

The sun has finally graced the surface of the UK, the summer holidays are beginning, and the festival season is thoroughly underway. Whether it’s Bestival, Reading, or if you're fortunate to be travelling abroad to attend one of the many festivals that the rest of the world has to offer, our festival survival guide will ensure that you are prepared for any hurdle that is thrown at you. We have compiled some top tips from fellow students and avid festival-goers. So, be it items that you should take or general advice that they wish they'd had, we have you covered so you can have the best possible experience at whichever festival you are planning to go to.
By Alisa Anwar
The National Student

Volunteer tourism: is your trip altruistic or ineffective?

Volunteer tourism is part of an emerging trend of travel, particularly popular amongst young people. This type of tourism entails individuals from one country, normally in the Global North, travelling to another nation, often in the Global South, to "do good deeds". These deeds can range from teaching children, building infrastructure, assisting the local community, to working on developmental projects. Yet, these types of activities and schemes have begun to receive criticism from international and local organisations. Many have started to question their ability to succeed in their goals to enforce change for good or alleviate poverty. Even more worryingly, concerns have been raised about the potenti
By Alisa Anwar
The National Student

Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 04/06/19

We've entered June, and summer has become very real for a lot of us as we hit submit on our final Turnitin link and utilise our student discount more than ever in celebration. Although the weather may have been hit and miss for a lot of us across the country, this week's releases have been exceptionally consistent. From unifying punk to cathartic ballads, we've got you covered. 'Whose Cause' is a high octane barrage of guitar, gravelly deadpan vocals and has a saxophone feature from Lewis Evans

Why music is so important for my mental health

As many self-help diagnoses and philosophers including Sartre pointed out, social anxiety may stem from the fear of “the look”, or being judged by others. And whilst that’s very plausible, knowing your condition's origin often doesn’t ease the feeling of living with it. I’ve read countless self-help books, endured hours of therapy (and I hate speaking about myself), yet still even asking which aisle the beans are on induces sweaty palms and darting eyes. At worst, it even led me to become sever

Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 22/04/19

Amidst M&S selling out of canned mojito, and chocolate eggs becoming the nation's diet for the weekend, some outstanding new music might have slipped under your radar. From jagged Irish shoegaze to charismatic slacker pop, we've got you covered. Image: Just Mustard by Karl Welsh via They Do PR Dundalk five-piece Just Mustard, return with the sensational, brooding new single ‘Frank’. Following a support slot with FONTAINES D.C., where Just Mustard displayed their distinctive noise, trip-hop and
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Live Review: FONTAINES D.C. @ Leeds Brudenell Social Club, 12/04/19

The Irish music scene seems to be having a bit of a musical renaissance at the moment. Dublin exists as the beating heart of this revival, with artists such as post-punk band The Murder Capital and hip-hop renegade Kojaque reimagining what Irish culture means in 2019. FONTAINES D.C. the poster-boys of the movement, and on Friday they unleashed Dogrel to the world; an album already a strong contender on end-of-year round ups. The band's live performance is no exception to studio greatness. Frida
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Festival Preview: Baltic Weekender 2019

Over the years Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle has become the playing ground for like-minded creatives, hosting some of the cities biggest club nights, and world-renowned talent. Baltic Weekender comes as a celebration of this movement, as it exhibits some of the most promising local talents among prolific names in the electronic music scene. Going from strength to strength in its third year, the 2-day festival is brought to you by 24 Kitchen Street and local promoters Abandon Silence. The weekend
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Hear This: Sky Ferreira - Downhill Lullaby

Following the release of 2013's Night Time, My Time, she has tirelessly campaigned forover her own creative process. After being locked out of her own Soundcloud account and a trail of abandoned release dates ("I refuse to put out something that isn't honest") the songstress finally returns with the brooding 'Downhill Lullaby'. While Night Time, My Time was laden with synth-heavy 80s pop, seasoned with 90s alternative rock, the sultry gothic ballad 'Downhill Lullaby' tones down the tempo and ups
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Women in Music: An interview with Lorraine Long, Founder of Longevity PR

** The National Student's 'Women in Music' content series makes space for the incredible, important women that work behind the scenes in some of the toughest and most rewarding roles in the industry. To celebrate International Women's Day, we're hearing their stories. ** We spoke to Founder and Head of Longevity PR, Lorraine Long, who reflects on the changing dynamics of the music industry, the ‘pinch me’ moments of her career, and the importance of unity in the face of tragedy. The music indu
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 04/03/19

After a week of weather more inconclusive than the UK's Brexit deal, we bring you the best new music these turbulent past few days have had to offer with a playlist that vacillates between the more melancholic and the sunnier aspects of life. So whether you're curled up in bed, or lazing in the park with a warm can of beer, hunched over a desk or nose-deep in a book, whether you fancy satirical garage rock, or submerging synth-pop, you'd do well to keep on reading. Fresher Sounds might just be
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Live Review: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets @ YES Pink Room, Manchester, 23/02/19

So when you think of the band name Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, what do you expect? An iridescent serving of Rated-R savoury snack? Not quite, but it seemingly reflects the idiosyncratic psychedelic rock of their first two records. The band's reputation for electric live shows have earned them the well-earned status of having the sugar-sweet YES pink room, packed out like a tin of sardines - but the crowd won’t be contained for long. • More stories you may like... • Fresher Sounds - The best new m
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Interview: Queen Zee

Despite only being birthed back in 2017, Scouse five-piece Queen Zee and the Sasstones have caused quite the commotion on the Liverpool scene with their fluid expression of brash queer punk that’s as arresting on the eyes as it is on the ears. In the best way possible. Queen Zee are a projectile vomit of wackiness. To be fair, you've got to be pretty bloody out there for Iggy Pop to call you “Strange, weird and crazy”. I speak to the leader of the motley crew, the Queen herself Zee, who tell me
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Interview: Demob Happy

10 years is a landmark for most bands in the UK’s current music climate, and Newcastle lads Demob Happy kicked down the decade mark with reckless abandon. 2018 saw the release of the intricately layered Holy Doom and a roundhouse kick of high octane live shows. Though the semantics of the band name Demob Happy suggest leaving behind a stressful situation, frontman Matthew Marcantonio's ethos is more about "the thing that you’re leaving behind. If you’re happy about leaving something, then that
By Charity Swales
The National Student

EP Review: Sunflower Bean - King Of The Dudes

New York’s Sunflower Bean their previous two EP’s presented an indecisiveness on their sound; their debut album Human Ceremony breathed with breezy jangly indie, while  departed into the nostalgic longing for 70s stadium rock. EP King Of The Dudes ventures further into the rabbit hole of rock, but this time armed with raspier vocals and an abundance of power chords. Though this sees the trio finding buoyancy in their sound, their adherence to cliché lets the EP become a frustratingly forgettabl
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 28/01/19

Winter showed no signs of departing this week, and neither did the influx of sensational new music. From hedonistic misfit party anthems to sensual synth-pop that could be extracted straight from the Drive soundtrack, we've curated the week's best new music from the best new artists. The latest output by Falmouth band Holiday Ghosts is two and a half minutes of pure unapologetic fun, combining the crisp vocal scales of frontman Charlie Fairbairn with jangly surf-rock guitar tones. 'Slipstream'
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Playlist: Alternative New Year's Eve

Taken from their 2013 album, 'Borrowed Time' is the momentous earworm guitar hook and quick-paced, no-frills percussion loaded with high-octane fun. It'll keep the momentum going throughout the night, and with their literally being borrowed time towards the end of 2018, you might as well make the most of it. 2018 has been all about women, and what better way to continue it into 2019 with one of the most iconic females in music? A tune to quite literally make you feel like king/queen of the worl
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Festivals we're excited for in 2019

As we revel in the festive period, it only means one thing: it's time to look forward to the warm pints, muddy fields and unpredictable weather, and get booking our 2019 festival tickets. Lucky for you, we've done the hard work for you. Here are a handful of festivals to start planning for in the New Year. What To Expect: Primavera exceeds itself yet again this year, setting an example to other festival curators with it's "The New Normal" ethos, meaning a 50/50 percentage split gender lineup,
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 24/12/2018

Oslo-punks Wet Dreams rip-roar into a raucous attack of dirty, high-octane guitar riffs, and fervent growls of anarchy in latest single 'Bad Boy'. For fans of bands such as FIDLAR, their newest release is just begging for pints of warm lager flung over the shoulder in momentary, abated outrage. It comes with the announcement of their debut self-titled album which will be released on 29th March via Black Pop Records. It's got more of a kick than a double espresso.You may know Kean Kavanagh as the
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Charity Swales' Best Albums Of 2018

Whereas Brutalism was all guns blazing, Joy As An Act of Resistance comes as more of an invite for conversation, as Idles show a more vulnerable side to their songwriting. Armed with unabashed wit and raucous instrumentation, Idles' unique dissection and embrace of society make them one of the most important UK bands around at the moment. Moments of biting, hilarious cynicism are contrasted with perceptive takes on toxic masculinity and depression. Joy is Idles' most inclusive and diverse album
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Hear This: Calva Louise - Tug Of War

'Tug Of War' sees frontwoman Jess Allanic displaying an impressive diversity in her vocals, which come off like a sour bonbon, as her sugar-coated harmonies culminate with a kick of acidity, within the most belligerent lyrics. The single plays on the meta allegory of relationships as a calculated and artful game, visualising them as the vibrant but exhausting game of a tug of war. Allanic warns in the chorus hook "Don't hurt yourself trying to get away", implying the futility of exerting pain in
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 19/11/2018

Grab your earphones and stick this week’s best new releases in your playlist. Fontaines D.C. are ones to watch this year, with their gritty-post punk style delivered with a deadpan Irish flair. ‘Too Real’ exudes a narrative of discontent in a deadpan vocal style akin to Mark E. Smith, against a background of contorted looping guitars, reflecting a feeling of disillusionment that characterises a lot of British guitar music at the moment. Exploring the narrative of toxic-masculinity and male men
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Interview: Husky Loops

Pop has, in the modern sense, being thrown about as a taboo word, associated with the choreographed dance routines and questionable hairstyles of groups formed in the noughties. However, increasingly so, pop is returning to the experimental and innovative genre that it once was, with artists like Charli XCX and Robyn holding the torch for a new generation of experimental pop. Bandsare again incorporating a blend of genres into their music, that resists the increasingly formulaic style that seem
By Charity Swales
The National Student

Live review: Husky Loops @ EBGBS, Liverpool, 24/10/18

London-Italian art rock three-piece, Husky Loops, refuse to be pigeonholed; from their to their look. This is a band less concerned with the reception of their music and more with experimentation in their art. Garnering support slots with bands such as Placebo and Spoon, they make a much-anticipated return to Liverpool’s den of debauchery EBGBS on their second UK headline tour. Support act Rivia  the majority of the crowd with their mates to commemorate their very first gig, and though they giv
By Charity Swales
The National Student