• Ben Lee

New Releases: 18th December 2020

Ben brings you all the new releases and reissues to arrive at The Vinyl Whistle this week, featuring releases ranging from indie, rock, soul, funk, hip-hop, electronic, pop, psychedelic, jazz and folk. To order, you can find the items on the links below. Here's Ben's roundup of his Top 10 Picks of the week:

James Blake - Before EP


Mercury Prize and Grammy Award-winning James Blake releases the limited 12” of his Before EP. Paying homage to his London club days, Before sees Blake returns to his roots whilst showcasing the evolution of his music. For James, the EP is the expression of “a yearning for dancefloor elation”, a reminder that he has continued to be a DJ and continued to be plugged into underground club culture all this time, but also a statement of “finally having confidence to put my own voice on dancefloor rhythms”.


Blu and Exile - Below The Heavens


Blu is the leader of West Coast Hip Hop. Since the days of Pharcyde, Freestyle Fellowship, and Jurassic 5, there have been few wordsmiths that have grasped the attention of listeners worldwide. Introduced to NWA and Public Enemy by his father, Blu later was captivated by the likes of Black Star, The Roots, and Common, creating a unique balance that is displayed in Blu’s personality and music. Blu’s first full length LP Below the Heavens pairs Blu with producer Exile on the Sound in Color imprint. His first single Narrow Path has rocked stages across the world, as fans begin to feel the impact of Blu’s music. His delivery flows flawlessly, while the content reflects the joy and pain of working class youth everywhere. Since the release of Narrow Path, Blu has performed alongside Slum Village, X-Clan, Platinum Pied Pipers, Lyrics Born, DJ Houseshoes, and many others, while participating in 3 high-profile nationwide tours alongside musical family members: Ta’Raach, Aloe Blacc, and Exile. The buzz has fans salivating for new music. Worldwide, people are looking to put hope into the ‘next’ emcee that will give them the same feeling when they first heard Black Thought, Common, or Slum Village. Blu fulfills this need, but maintains something that is entirely new, while not recycled. Double vinyl includes bonus 7" with 2 unreleased instrumentals.


Dominic Fike - What Could Possibly Go Wrong


American singer, hip-hop/pop star & Brockhampton collaborator, Dominic Fike, releases his new album via Columbia Records. . A x14 song album, which includes the hit single "Chicken Tenders" & more…


Liam Gallagher - All You're Dreaming Of


Charity Partner for Single will be Action For Children. New single 'All You're Dreaming Of' taps into this energy, a song about raising your head to look for the future. Liam comments...“‘All You’re Dreaming Of’ is an instant classic that is perfect for this time of year. Considering the year that we’ve all had, I hope this brings back some much needed love and hope. Bing Crosby would have been proud.”

Click here for the 7" version.


Glass Animals - Dreamland


Glass Animals release their third studio album Dreamland on Polydor. At the heart of Dreamland lies the quietly enigmatic Dave Bayley, the bands frontman and producer extraordinaire who’s work extends far beyond that of Glass Animals, with credits including Joey Bada$$, Flume, Wale, Khalid and most recently Denzel Curry on the late 2019 single Tokyo Drifting. For Bayley, Dreamland is a nostalgic memoir of his life so far, covering expansive and difficult ground and holding nothing back. It’s packed full of personal experiences, none more emotional than when the bands drummer Joe Seaward was involved in a monstrous bike accident in July 2018 which threatened his life, and that of Glass Animals altogether.


Alicia Keys - Alicia


RCA Records finally release the double, white coloured, LP Vinyl format of the seventh studio album from US R&B royalty, Alicia Keys. A x15 song album, released to coincide with her soon to be published memoirs.


Lanterns on the Lake - The Realist


Following their Mercury Prize nomination, and having recently been featured in The Guardian, Lanterns On The Lake release a new 5-track EP, The Realist, via Bella Union. The EP includes four brand new tracks as well as a new reworked stripped-back arrangement of the single Baddies. Of the track and EP vocalist Hazel Wilde says: “The Realist is a song about being a dreamer, clinging to a vision and following your heart - even when that path can seem deluded to others. It was one of the songs that didn’t make it onto the album Spook The Herd as it didn’t fit sonically or narratively. It felt like it came from another place. So we began putting together this EP. We wanted to sculpt an intimate “headphones” record. One for the introverts and dreamers, the ones that still find beauty and magic in things. Recording some of the songs over lockdown in our homes helped in creating that world.”


Skinshape - Arrogance Is The Death Of Men


Second album in less than a year from the prolific William Dorey. Skinshape returns with the witheringly, prophetically titled Arrogance is the Death of Men. Written and recorded between November 2019 and July 2020, Skinshape bids to recreate something akin to the ‘old style’ of Oracolo (2015) and Life and Love(2017). With Arrogance..., Will Dorey’s blueprint points to a simple formula, aligning a bank of fresh drum breaks recorded at the end of 2019 to whatever he had to hand, for a long player recorded in the majority at home due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Forever balanced between sweetness and a sigh, as per his position Behind the Sun, the Skinshape essence, intricate yet always reachable, at times tailored in a single session and sourcing archive bric-a-brac when required, is all around on the sweetly strummed Tomorrow and The Eastern Connection, featuring Ivan Kormanak on drums.

Maintaining an incisive knowledge of global sounds that keeps him in the filmic company of Khruangbin and El Michels Affair, Dorey’s listening to vintage Vietnamese music and Asian film scores provides the basis of Sound of Your Voice and Flight of the Erhu, starring Wan Pinchu on Erhu violin. Acutely aware of the world’s ongoing health crisis without preaching about the whys and wherefores, the title track and Losing My Mind reflect enforced confinement as tranquil songs of both quiet consideration yet powerful release. Dorey’s guitar pieces and wraith-like soul continue to flicker with fascination as Indian Summers and fireside retreats beckon, with Watching From The Shadows - about “standing up for yourself, and avoiding the limelight for your own good”– and Outro gently bringing the album to rest.


Tame Impala - The Slow Rush


The Slow Rush, Kevin Parker’s fourth album as Tame Impala was released in February 2020 to wide-spread acclaim. Parker scored his second #1 in Australia and highest charting album to date in both the US and UK, and 14 top 10 chart positions around the world.

Re-pressed for the first time since its initial release, the new limited-edition colour version of The Slow Rush comes on 180-gram creamy white vinyl.

Featuring 'Lost In Yesterday', 'Borderline', 'It Might Be Time', ‘Breathe Deeper’ & ‘Is It true’, 'The Slow Rush' is Parker's deep dive into the oceans of time, conjuring the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones whizzing by while you're looking at your phone, it's a paean to creation and destruction and the unending cycle of life.


Thundercat - Fair Chance


Back in April, as the world was spiralling into COVID-19 lockdown, Thundercat released his aptly titled album It Is What It Is featuring musical contributions from Flying Lotus, Childish Gambino, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BADBADNOTGOOD, Louis Cole, Zack Fox, Ty Dolla $ign and Lil B.

Earlier this summer, rappers Smino and Guapdad 4000 brought their own inimitable flavour to the anthemic Dragonball Durag and now it’s the turn of much loved British producer Floating Points to share his take on Fair Chance, nudging the ballad onto the dancefloor with a fabulous rework that nods to vintage 4x4 UKG.


Here are the best reissues coming out this week at The Vinyl Whistle:

Lee Fields - Let's Get A Groove On


Freshly unleashed from the vaults of Desco Records and remastered for the first time since its 1998 release, Daptone re-release of one of the finest and most satisfying needle drops of the last 40 years. An album that needs no introduction, yet one is required... we're talking raw soul and heavy, heavy funk sung with aplomb by one of the best in the biz... Ladies and Gentlemen... Presenting! the Lee Fields' classic, Let's Get a Groove. And groove you shall, for this is supernova of soulful superiority. This album has been out-of-print for over a decade.


Fine Young Cannibals - Fine Young Cannibals


Fine Young Cannibals' self-titled album is celebrating 35 years since its original release. To mark the occasion the iconic debut has received special treatment which sees the album newly remastered from analogue tapes.

Originally released in 1985 the album that spawned the hits Johnny Come Homeand Suspicious Minds launched the band high into the charts the world over and lay foundations for an impressive career that was still to follow.

This new expanded edition features a wealth of bonus material spread across 2CDs including b-sides, previously unreleased rarities, unheard demos, BBC sessions, live performances, as well as a newly commissioned 2020 remix by Derrick Carter.


Fine Young Cannibals - The Raw and the Cooked


Fine Young Cannibals' worldwide smash The Raw & The Cooked has received special treatment which sees the album newly remastered from analogue tapes.

Originally released in 1989 the album that spawned the hits She Drives Me Crazy, Good Thing and Ever Fallen In Love took the band to No.1 in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and won the band two Brit Awards.

This new expanded edition contains the original album remastered from analogue tapes and features a wealth of bonus material spread across 2CDs including b-sides, previously unreleased rarities, unheard demos, live recordings, as well as newly commissioned 2020 remixes by Dimitri From Paris and Seth Troxler.


The Last - Look Again


The lost album from The Last. Recorded 40 years ago in 1980, Look Again has never been released until now. The Last were a seminal Los Angeles Punk band in the late 1970s and early 1980s, playing alongside The Go-Go’s, X, The Germs, and others of that era. This album was recorded in 1980 at Joe Julian of Berlin’s new studio and he insisted on doing the mixing himself. The band felt the songs were the best of their career but hated the mix to the point of shelving the record. Their manager had pressed up dozens of test pressings to send to labels – these were the only known copies in existence and now fetch over $800 on collector sites like Discogs.

The Last’s reputation in the early 1980’s Punk scene still looms large, influencing the likes of Henry Rollins of Black Flag and Rollins Band, Keith Morris of Circle Jerks, Redd Kross, X’s John Doe, The Go-Go’s Jane Wiedlin and Belinda Carlile.


Mac Miller - Swimming In Circles


Swimming In Circles collects the critically-acclaimed albums Swimming and Circles, conceived by Mac Miller as companion albums, into one deluxe presentation. Fans will be able to listen to both releases on vinyl side by side for the first time, experiencing the full narrative arc expressed across the two albums.