• Ben Lee

New Releases: 12th February 2021

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

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - New Fragility (Rock / Indie / Folk)


Trace the arc of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s evolution and it shows an accomplished musician and composer sounding ever more confident, constantly refining and broadening his sound and indulging an ever wider set of influences. Few have been as consistently brilliant, eclectic, and intimate; fewer still have done so while being defiantly, 100% independent, refusing to sign deals that compromise artistic vision. New Fragility is a continuation of this, yet it also stands apart as one his strongest collection of songs yet. Personal yet universal, New Fragility confronts numerous modern ills. Where They Perform Miracles, a song concerning spirituality and alternative methods of healing, harks back to Ounsworth’s time as an anthropology student doing fieldwork in Mexico, while Dee, Forgiven is an intimate look at what harm anxiety, and the over-prescription of certain medication, has on the vitality of youth. The song contains one of Ounsworth’s strongest vocals yet – a quivering beacon that shifts from a wail to a low grumble in the blink of an eye, a remarkable expressive instrument that sits perfectly amid the understanded orchestration. For 15 years, it’s been one of music’s most distinctive voices, and it’s never sounded as rich or poised.


Cuffed Up - Cuffed Up (Indie / Rock / Post Punk)


Cuffed Up was formed thru a chance encounter at a party where Sapphire Jewell and Ralph Torrefranca first met, connecting about their love for the UK punk scene with bands like Idles and Shame. A few months later, Cuffed Up was formed along with Joe Liptock and Vic Ordonez, becoming a full time band for the group.

With comparisons to 90’s bands like Sonic Youth and The Pixies to modern day post-punk UK acts like Idles, it’s no wonder why the LA based quartet, Cuffed Up, have been turning heads since their debut double A-side Small Town Kidand Mother / Father was released at the end of 2019.


Django Django - Glowing In The Dark (Rock / Electro / Alternative)


Over the course of their extraordinarily accomplished discography to date, Django Django have constantly headed left where others have gone right. Described by The Guardian as “capable of making music that sounds close to perfection”, they are known for their genre defying eclectic sound and their new album Glowing in the Dark heralds, once again, the beginning of a thrilling new era for the band.

Glowing in the Dark has a running theme of escape: from despair, from constraints, from small town life, and even, in dreams, from the Earth. The brilliant title track and new single, for instance, soars gloriously towards the stratosphere. A track built around a sample from one of Dave Maclean’s spoken word records then plushly upholstered with Moog synths and drum loops, it is accompanied by some eye strobing visuals from rapidly ascending NYC artist and illustrator Braulio Amado.


Mush - Lines Redacted (Art Rock / Alt Rock / Garage Rock / Post Punk / Shoegaze)


Leeds-based art-rock trio, Mush, release their feverish second LP, Lines Redacted via Memphis Industries. The new release, which finds the group recruiting Lee Smith (The Cribs, Pulled Apart By Horses) on mixing duties, arrives just under a year after their debut LP, 3D Routine, capping off what has been an obviously tumultuous, but remarkably prolific year for the band. With any prospect of live shows decimated, the group, led by songwriter, Dan Hyndman, has found the time to release two EPs (Great Artisanal Formats and Yellow Sticker Hour) and now a duo of full-length albums.

Mush resent their own sonic idiosyncrasy. It’s a sound that blurs the lines of abstract surrealism, existentialism and social commentary; utilising guitars as tools in 2020 to stave off malaise whilst simultaneously commenting on the nation’s ability to fall into such dire straits. It’s a sensory overload of wiry tones that zig- zag between punk, prog and sardonic-funk with a relentless ability to reflect society’s faults and apathy in a unique and acerbic manner.

Whereas the band’s debut was very much a product of its time, something part-inspired by the political atmosphere of mid-2019 and a genuine moment of optimism when the prospect of a socialist government in the UK was on the cards, this new record uses tongue-in-cheek cynicism as a coping mechanism for the environment that we now find ourselves in. From one song to the next, Lines Redacted introduces a string of different narrators with each providing a different reflection on the Armageddon scenario that we are slowly entering, whether that’s bemoaning it or gleefully willing it along. 3D Routine presented a bed of scathing political jibes latching onto themes and decisions of the time. Lines Redacted mutates these ideas into something slightly more sinister whilst maintaining all of Hyndman’s razor-sharp wit that permeates the album.


Pale Waves - Who Am I? (Indie Pop / Pop Punk)


Who Am I? is the second album from icons Pale Waves. Recorded in L.A. over early 2020 with Rich Costey (Muse, Biffy Clyro, Sigur Ros), and led by the unabashedly huge lead single Change, it finds the Manchester band stepping up once more, fulfilling the promise of that widely-lauded debut album and striding towards pop megastardom.


The Pretty Reckless - Death By Rock and Roll (Hard Rock / Metal)


Rock ‘n’ roll is a religion. It’s a commitment to an ideal, a belief system. The lifestyle and trappings may appear to be glamorous and romantic, but the road isn’t easy. It requires staying power and an enormous amount of faith. The Pretty Reckless are truly a rock and roll band.


Royal Green - Royal Green (Indie Rock)


Bryan Devendorf’s solo curio Royal Green doesn’t possess the only-in-New York vibe of Basquiat’s work, there is something shared in its many-channels-open style of creation. Satellite signals, strange voices from lost television documentaries and radio operas are all woven into its fabric — like it’s using these endless tides of media and information to unlock the subconscious. Even its covers — Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, The National (with a nice big wink), The Beatles — are like stunning, albeit satanic takes on hymns, or like American standards almost dragged into the underworld. Like the best of Spacemen 3, Sparklehorse or massively underrated San Fran band Skygreen Leopards — the music makes you queasy in one movement and lulls you into blissmode in the next. It’s the very edge of outsider pop songwriting.

For all the amphitheaters and festival fields Devendorf has played to over his career, Royal Green almost feels like an un-learning and a newfound love of homemade/found/fractured sounds — and how, if collaged just so, detritus can become stunningly gorgeous and surreal. And not without hooks. Look no further than Frosty which could be Little Billy Corgan’s decayed demo tape from just before the Smashing Pumpkins appeared on the scene. And the unspooling, slightly unglued dream-pop of Breaking the River is as rapturous as it is sinister. And that’s probably where Devendorf wants it.


Slowthai - Tyron (+Exclusive Signed Poster) (Hip Hop / Alternative)


Tyron is a tale of two halves exposing human complexity. Just as with the narrative of his own life, there are always two sides to every story. Side one re-introduces us to the classic hubris, machismo, and braggadocio typical of rap music. Side two takes what you thought you knew about slowthai and flips on its head. Feel Away and NHS go some way to dip a toe inside the complexities of his mind but delve deeper and you’ll be left with a clearer understanding of who he truly is. Honesty is paramount as ultimately Ty wants listeners to know that “it’s ok to be yourself”.

Tyron was formed against the backdrop of an unforgiving climate where judgement, shaming and underdeveloped and simplistic conceptions of other people are fashionable. Instead of succumbing to such simplicity, Tyron presents an artist who is unabashedly complicated and willing to explore themes of loneliness, identity, self-acceptance, and the difficulties in becoming an individual. Unlike the political overtone of slowthai’s debut album Nothing Great About Britain which took listeners on a journey through slowthai’s turbulent upbringing and his stance on British life – this self-titled follow up, Tyron is a melodic dive through the expansive landscape of his feelings. His ability to bear his imperfections and contradictions makes Tyron an album that is the antithesis of a culture of purity. A resistance to the rising tide of moral one-upmanship and the pervasive self-righteousness that blinds us to our own fallibility.


Weezer - OK Human (Rock / Pop)


So 2020 was going to be the year of Van Weezer - the big riffs rock album Weezer made as an homage to the metal bands they loved growing up - until, thanks to the global pandemic, it suddenly wasn't. The entire time, however, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo was busy at the piano, writing a very different album that referenced another vital musical touchstone of his youth: The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds.

Throughout the summer of Covid-19, he and the band - along with a 38 piece orchestra - chipped away at masked recording sessions until the record was complete. The result is an album called OK Human - a cheeky nod to Radiohead's technophobic future-trip OK Computer, but sounding nothing at all like that record. Taking the listener bit by bit through parts of Cuomo's every day, it's a Technicolour symphonic spree that meditates on how over-and-under-connected we all are, particularly in a year where we can see each other with greater ease, but actually can't physically be near each other at all.

OK Human is also packed to the brim with some of the best, most personal songs Cuomo has written in the last decade, all of which shine brighter and bolder with splashes of string and horn arrangements courtesy of album producer Jake Sinclair and arranger Rob Mathes. It's hard to imagine any other band who came up in the alt haze of the 90s creating a simply perfect orchestral pop album, but that is exactly what Weezer's done; OK Human is a testament to the excellent, enduring melodies Cuomo has written since Weezer's inception, and the ones he continues to write today.


Virginia Wing - Private Life (Electro Pop / Alternative / Ambient)


One of the year's most daring and true pop records, private LIFE comes as the result of Virginia Wing living through, and with, huge personal emotional and mental traumas. It is a document of how the very process of music creation in a group can be of huge therapeutic benefit to people. The three members of Virginia Wing have explored the depths of their creative and artistic inspirations within performance, production and composition, and have made a candid and brash pop record that speaks clearly about hope, desperation, impulse, addiction, urge and shame.

More tumultuous than its predecessor, private LIFE knocks hard. The evolution of Virginia Wing’s sound continues to build on the broad creative flow of the last album whilst being another audacious contribution to contemporary pop. The drums are huge and playfully unquantized. Edits are both assured and heavy handed, the instrumentation lightly mediates the two and finds itself on the edge of collapse alongside them. The icy facade of Merida Richards’ words are still front and centre, but are contrasted by dense, multilayered improvisations, vying for attention throughout the record. Over I’m Holding Out For Something’srelentless juggernaut of 90’s R’n’B beats, Richards examines the relentless hope and desperation glued to modern consciousness, and speaks of how we often find the answer, or the route through, right at the breaking point. Subsequently, St Francis Fountain compounds the issue, observing that often our own coping mechanisms can grow into full blown traumas of their own. Virginia Wing’s last record opened its arms into euphoric light, private LIFE invites you through a door and closes it. It examines what we’re doing at night, on our own, after work. What we do to enjoy ourselves, to cope, to be together, to be alone. It shines a dim blue light on what might be happening, causing us anxiety, stress and desire.


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

Cannonball Adderley - Somethin' Else (Reissue) (Jazz)


“Is that what you wanted, Alfred?” we hear in Miles Davis’ unmistakable rasp at the end of “One for Daddy-O,” making it clear that the legendary (and assertive) trumpeter was not just playing the role of sideman on Somethin’ Else, the sole Blue Note album by Cannonball Adderley.

The alto saxophonist was a member of Davis’ band at the time and the depth of their musical camaraderie lifts this session up to rarefied heights throughout, from the breath-taking performance of “Autumn Leaves” that opens the album to the thrilling call-and-response theme of the title track. Pianist Hank Jones, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Art Blakey round out the quintet on this timeless classic.

This Blue Note Classic Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.


Bailter Space - Wammo (Alt Rock / Indie / Punk)


Formed in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1987 as Nelsh Bailter Space, the band’s musical family tree touches on some of the nation’s most revered weirdo luminaries - including Flying Nun mainstays like The Skeptics, The Clean and The Gordons.

Bailter Space embraced chaos but celebrated precision, finding melody amid networks of brooding noise and feedback. After relocating to New York City, the band - who by then included Alister Parker, John Halvorsen and Brent McLachlan - arrived on Matador in in time for the US release of ‘Robot World’ (1993).

Wammo was the trio’s third and final full-length with the label (their fifth album overall). At the time, music scribes were a bit puzzled by the record’s “accessibility.” In retrospect though we can recognize Wammo for the perfectly melancholy and drone-laced brain-zap that it is.


The Band - Stage Fright (50th Anniversary Edition) (Rock / Folk)


Stage Fright is the third studio album by Canadian American group the Band, released on August 17, 1970. Engineered by Todd Rundgren and Glyn Johns, it features two of the group’s best-known songs, “The Shape I’m In” and “Stage Fright”, both of which showcased inspired lead vocal performances (by Richard Manuel and Rick Danko, respectively) and became staples in the group’s live shows.


Marc Bolan and T Rex - Shadowhead (Rock / Pop)


Marc Bolan’s passions included the blues, soul, rock ‘n’ roll, hard rock and disco-soul, and his intent to explore these genres are all visited on this collection of classic album tracks and singles. His influences – Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton / Cream and Bob Dylan are all apparent amongst the material on Shadowhead, but the music here is unique. Bolan’s creative fire produced a phenomenal catalogue of work: the material on this album was recorded over five years (1972 – 1976), in seven studios, in five countries.

This record provides insights into Bolan’s creative process whilst keeping the essence of the music in its classic form. Shadowhead showcases the development of tracks such as Precious Star and Groove A Little, and a track that made its public debut on the CD release, Blues Jam (Dreamy Lady Session). Other tracks reveal many of the instruments and sounds from the master tapes to enable the working processes to be more clearly understood. This release marks the first time that this collection has been issued on vinyl.


Deftones - Around The Fur (Rock / Nu Metal)


The second studio album by the American alternative metal band, and the second album to feature Frank Delgado under additional personnel; he eventually joined the band officially in 1999. The song 'Headup' features additional vocals by Max Cavalera of Soulfly. It was written by Cavalera and Deftones singer Chino Moreno as a way of venting some of their pain over the loss of Dana Wells, Cavalera's stepson and Chino's friend. Features the singles 'My Own Summer (Shove It)' and 'Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)'.


The Faces - BBC1 Live 1970 (Rock)


The early years of The Faces were characterised by uproarious onstage performances and two disappointing studio albums that failed to capture their onstage excitement. We are fortunate that they were regular visitors to the BBC where their regular appearances on TV and radio proved just how good they were. The tracks here are taken from three high quality 1970 radio broadcasts. Nine tracks give the flavour of a Faces gig - just loose enough to be exciting and versatile enough to include Northern Soul, R&B, acoustic folk songs and a Bob Dylan cover.


Gene - Olympian (Indie / Rock)


25th anniversary edition of the bands debut album Olympian. Singles include; Haunted by You, Still Can’t Find the Phone, Sleep Well Tonight and Olympian, which reached 18 in the UK charts in 199

Inspired by the songs of The Smiths, The Jam and The Faces, Martin Rossiter’s literate vocals and Steve Mason’s fluid guitar lines were perfectly complemented by the intuitive rhythm section of Kevin Miles and Matt James. They released four studio albums and a collection of B-sides and radio demos between 1995 and 2001, were named Best New Act at the inaugural NME awards in 1995, and went on to score 10 Top 40 hits.


Gene - Rising For Sunset (Indie / Rock)


Gene formed in 1993, released four studio album and went on to score 10 top 40 hits. This is their live album recorded live in the Troubadour in Hollywood Los Angels on the 1st and 2nd June 2000, originally released on CD only. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the recording, the album is issued on vinyl for the first time.


Gene - To See The Lights (Indie / Rock)


This 1996 compilation by Gene acts as a fine album in it’s own right. Featuring early tracks such as For the Dead, Be My Light, Be My Guide, early live performances from Glastonbury, Radio 1 Session and The Forum and stand out cover versions of I Say A Little Prayer and Don’t Let Me Down.

Inspired by the songs of The Smiths, The Jam and The Faces, Martin Rossiter’s literate vocals and Steve Mason’s fluid guitar lines were perfectly complemented by the intuitive rhythm section of Kevin Miles and Matt James. They released four studio albums and a collection of B-sides and radio demos between 1995 and 2001, were named Best New Act at the inaugural NME awards in 1995, and went on to score 10 Top 40 hits.


Joe Henderson - Page One (Reissue) (Jazz)


While Joe Henderson seemed to arrive fully formed on his auspicious 1963 debut Page One, the album was really a showcase for the transcendent collaboration between the tenor saxophonist and trumpeter Kenny Dorham who would form a potent frontline team on numerous mid-60s Blue Note classics.

Page One opens with a pair of indelible Dorham compositions (“Blue Bossa”and “La Mesha”), with the balance of the six-song set penned by Henderson including his enduring theme “Recorda-Me.” Dazzling performances by pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Butch Warren, and drummer Pete La Roca further elevate this album making it one of the crown jewels of the Blue Note catalog.

This Blue Note Classic Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.


His Name Is Alive - Hope Is A Candle (Home Recordings Vol 3 1985 - 1990) (Rock / Dream Pop / Experimental)


The third and final volume in a trilogy exploring the teenage tape experimentation of Warren Defever aka His Name Is Alive. The beautiful ambient sketches and backwards loops of the first two volumes are still in evidence, but this collection sees the artist moving slowly towards more recognisable song forms.

Much of the material contained here was duplicated on the infamous demo tape that caught the ear of Ivo Watts-Russell and led to elements being re-worked into Livonia, the first His Name Is Alive album on 4AD. Having circulated in poor quality form as a bootleg for many years, it’s a revelation to hear this music transferred from the original reels and mastered by Defever himself (who is one of the head engineers at Third Man’s mastering studio in Detroit). Some of the sounds here touch on the kind of dreampop which 4AD was known for at the time - the gauzy textures of the Cocteau Twins or This Mortal Coil, and predicts the saturated textures of the incoming shoegaze sound. But there’s also echoes of older, more esoteric sources: early minimalist works, 80s industrial records, even the blues and folk sounds documented by Folkways. The young Defever trying to interpret formative influences using a primitive home recording set-up and stumbling upon their own unique sound as a result of this tentative experimentation. As the artist recounts in the liner notes: “I wanted to do my own Music For 18 Musicians. But I didn't know 18 musicians; I barely had two friends, and even they couldn't stand me.”


Rudolph Johnson - Spring Rain (Jazz / Soul)


Columbus, Ohio's Rudolph Johnson drew comparisons to John Coltrane during his career; like the jazz legend in his later years, Johnson eschewed drugs or alcohol and spent his time every day either meditating and rehearsing on his horn. You can definitely hear a little bit of Coltrane in Johnson's playing on this, his 1971 debut release for the Black Jazz label, the first of two he recorded for the imprint and the first he recorded as a leader after some sideman work (most notably for organist Jimmy McGriff); his ability to explore the upper registers and overtones of his tenor sax while retaining control is quite striking. Of course, this being a Black Jazz release, along with the bebop sounds of 'Sylvia Ann' and the mid-'60s Blue Note stylings of 'Sylvia Ann,' there's the soul jazz of 'Diswa' and the groove funk of 'Devon Jean,' all played by, as is typical on Black Jazz releases, by top-notch sidemen including drummer Raymond Pounds, who's played with everybody from Stevie Wonder to Pharoah Sanders to Bob Dylan, and pianist John Barnes, whose work is very familiar to Motown fans (Supremes, Temptations, Marvin Gaye). Bassist Reggie Jackson, who appeared on the Walter Bishop, Jr. Coral Keys record we previously released, rounds out the quartet. First vinyl reissue of another stellar Black Jazz release, remastered for CD and vinyl by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision and featuring liner notes by Pat Thomas, author of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975!


Calvin Keys - Shawn-Neeq (Jazz / Funk)


Calvin Keys's 1971 debut album for the Black Jazz Records label announced the arrival of a new star in the jazz guitar firmament. Keys had spent the '60s backing up the crème de la crème of jazz organists'Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff, Richard 'Groove' Holmes'but for his first record as a leader, he was eager to play with a piano player instead. So he recruited one of the best'Larry Nash, who, besides being a member of the L.A. Express, played with everybody from Eddie Harris to Bill Withers to Etta James. Bassist Lawrence Evans, drummer Bob Braye, and flautist-songwriter Owen Marshall rounded out the group on Shawn-Neeq, which might remind some of Pat Metheny's early work (Metheny acknowledges Keys as an influence), or Grant Green. But what gives Shawn-Neeq extra depth is that it comes from the heart; as Keys says in Pat Thomas' liner notes, which feature an interview with the artist: 'My thing was, I write about some of the experiences that I've had in my life.' Keys has since become a fixture in the Bay Area jazz scene; this is the album that started his journey. Another gem from the celebrated Black Jazz catalog, freshly remastered for CD and vinyl by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision and ready to be savored!


Calvin Love - Highway Dancer (Pop Rock)


Highway Dancer reflects on the pressure of life, addiction, growing up, mortality, family, travel and time. The title Highway Dancer defines the limbo state of restlessness and the movement forward through life. My best efforts were written and recorded into these 11 songs, each song contrasting the next, just as opposites attract in nature. Each track is different and can be compared to the next in such a way as to emphasize their juxtaposition. The songs you hear on this album were compiled from a larger catalogue over the past 3 years. Many of the songs are the subconscious soundtrack to my life and travels before my mind had a chance to conceive them. Inspiration came from everything that attracted my inner soul to the external forces and beauty this world has to offer. From the endless Highways of North America to the Hutong alleys of Beijing. The songs chose me.


Loretta Lynn - Coal Miner's Daughter (Country / Folk)


Loretta Lynn introduced the world to a crucial aspect of American life that was rarely acknowledged when she released her 1970 autobiographical album, Coal Miner’s Daughter. Already a country star with chart-topping singles, this title track, led a string of #1 hits and became her first recording inducted into the Grammy® Hall Of Fame. In addition, she was among a notable list of singer / songwriters who brought a woman’s perspective to country music. 2021 celebrates the 50th Anniversary of this landmark album.


Curtis Mayfield - Roots (Funk / Soul)


This recording is one of Mayfield's strongest - a bold, explosive mix of serious funk and righteous melodies. When he says, 'Get down to the funky, funky groove' - it's not an invitation to party, it's a command. 'Keep On Keeping On' is one of Mayfield's sweetest melodies - a track so strong and uplifting that you'll be high-fiving everyone you see for weeks afterward.


Pavement - Brighten The Corners (Indie Rock / Alternative)


For many hard-time fans, Brighten the Corners is part of the holy trinity with Crooked Rain and Wowee Zowee. As such it combines the anarchy of the band's previous slop with a expert grasp on hook and pop dynamics. Before we get all nostalgic about how great this record is let's just consider the songs in cold contemporary light: the wild pop ecstasy of Stereo, the sweetly melancholicShady Lane, the crooked joyful Type Slowly and the lo-fi poet punk of Embassy Row. All of these tracks are embedded in the indie psyche and for good reason.


Bill Stone - Stone (Folk)


Just when you thought every loner folk genius had been outed / discovered, hyped and pontificated about, a new / old challenger lurks in the murky depths of time...and Maine. Sure, you have your Skip Spences, Dave Bixbys, Stone Harbours, and Perry Leopolds already, but have you heard the lonesome sound of Bill Stone? Well, don't feel too uncool, hardly anyone has - unless you lived in rural Maine in the early 70s and grabbed his barely-ever seen LP in the day. Titled simply Stone, Bill's mysterious album was pressed in the micro-est of quantities, covering wistful, airy psychedelia on par with the UK's Mark Fry's classic Dreaming of Alice, while still evoking the earthy, evening-hour melancholy of Leonard Cohen or Tom Rapp. Stone started out playing in a few small folk ensembles while also moonlighting with occasional solo gigs, finally recording this lone platter in 1969 in a pottery studio (!?) on a 2-track Panasonic tape recorder in Boothbay, Maine. With his solo career stalled, Bill and instead published books and articles on subjects as diverse as school counselling and chaos theory - but now retired, he's returned to music, even recording a new album of originals and traditional numbers, based on his experiences as a cab driver (another wrinkle in the Stone Saga we must hear more of someday – but for now check out billstone.bandcamp.com). So with Bill back in action and the world slowly crawling out of a disillusioning haze, now seems like the perfect time for a first-time-ever reissue of this incredibly rare, happy-sad, gently delicate, Stone(d) classic of a downer song-cycle.


Suede - See You In The Next Life (Indie / Alt Rock)


After their huge success throughout the 90s, Suede called it a day (for the first time) in 2003. The Suede Information Service (SIS) compiled and issued this special collection of demos, acoustic versions and other curious in 2004. Only 2000 CDs were manufactured, and these were distributed free to the members of the SIS. Whilst some of the tracks have appeared on the Edsel reissues, several tracks, including Elaine Paige, the Mick Jones remix of the band’s last single Attitude and the live French version of The Power have not been reissued since 2004. This release also marks the first time this collection has been issued on vinyl.


The London Suede - Suede (Indie / Alt Rock)


Released in March 1993, Suede was the fastest-selling debut album ever in the UK. Available on vinyl for the first time in the US, the album contains what Rolling Stone called “its triptych of instantly classic singles” - The Drowners, Metal Mickey and Animal Nitrate. At the time, the album’s release in the US was hampered by an injunction from an existing US act called Suede. As a result, the band’s subsequent album releases in the US were ‘branded’ as being by “The London Suede”, but the first album was never re-branded.


XXXTENTACION - Members Only Vol 4 (Hip Hop)


Double LP vinyl pressing. Volume 4 of Xxxtentacion's Members Only project. Features Xxxtentacion, Ski Mask The Slump God, Kid Trunks, Craig Xen, Cooliecut, Flyboy Tarantino, Kin$oul, Bass Santana, and more.


Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Santa Monica Civic 1970 (Rock)


The power and ferocity of the original Crazy Horse was only hinted at by their studio recordings. They really came into their own on stage, as shown by the six electric tracks on this fine new release. Originally an FM broadcast from Radio KUSC this recording is prized by NY fans as it also includes his six-song acoustic set, comprising early solo material and songs written for Buffalo Springfield. The 1970 tour remains an artistic high spot in Neil Young’s long and varied career and this release shows why.


Here are the best of the rest of the new releases arriving at The Vinyl Whistle this week:

Berwyn - Demotape / Vega (Hip Hop / Rap)


Much anticipated & critically acclaimed debut album on Columbia Records, from Trinidad born & Romford raised, rapper, songwriter & producer BERWYN. A x10 song album, released on standard CD & translucent light Blue LP Vinyl. Berwyn came in at #3 on the 'BBC Sound Poll' of top tips for 2021. Includes the current single "Vinyl", plus "Glory", "Trap Phone" & others...


Claud - Super Monster (Indie / Alternative / Bedroom Pop)


Super Monster is the first release on Saddest Factory, the new imprint label from Phoebe Bridgers.

When Claud Mintz’s mother finally heard the 13 songs on her kid’s magnetic first album, Super Monster, she asked a concerned question: Just how many people had her 21-year-old dated? From beginning to end, these sparkling pop tunes capture the assorted stages of a relationship’s delight and dejection—the giddy sensation of a first kiss during the beaming Overnight, the heartsick longing of a pending rejection during the yearning Jordan, the reluctant call for a requisite breakup during the smoldering Ana. Claud, though, replied that these songs detailed the phases of only two or three relationships, simply written during them or at various points after they were over.

The debut release on Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records, Super Monster is a vertiginous but joyous coming-of-age reckoning with such young love. Claud sees relationships as games of endless wonder, intrigue, and second-guesses, a roller-coaster thrilling you even when it’s terrifying. If Goldturns the tension and indecision of a bad match into an undeniable bit of lithe disco, That’s Mr. Bitch To You uses a spurt of righteous indignation to fuse a little soul and emo into one breathless hook. Super Monster is like a compulsive compilation that Claud culled from a lifetime of musical enthusiasms—the arcing alt-rock of ’90s airwaves, the rapturous pop of ’00s chart-toppers, the diligent genre-hopping of modern online life. Claud emerges as the chameleonic mastermind of this mélange, channeling all of love’s emotions into songs so sharp they make even the hardest times feel fun.

Perhaps you are in the throes of one of these romantic moments yourself right now, resentful of a frustrating paramour like Claud during Pepsi or indulging in lust like In or In Between. Or maybe these songs recall those wild days and tough situations. Incisive, instant, and addictive Super Monster works on either level - to remind us of love’s wild ups and downs or to help us deal with them in real time. In that way, Mom, these songs are about dating, well, everyone.


Crass - Normal Never Was IV (Punk)


As part of their ambitious The Feeding of the Five Thousand Remix Project, punk pioneers Crass return with another exclusive coloured 12” single featuring remixes by industrialists Test Dept and LA based artist Maral.


Jay Dee aka J Dilla - Welcome 2 Detroit (20th Anniversary Edition) (Hip Hop)


BBE Music release a special 20th Anniversary edition of one of the most important records in the label’s history: J Dilla’s Welcome 2 Detroit, presented in a deluxe 7” vinyl box set boasting instrumentals, two brand new interpretations by Azymuth and Muro, a stash of previously unreleased alternative mixes and studio outtakes pressed over 12 discs, plus a book revealing the album’s hidden story, told by those who were there.

First issued by BBE Music on Monday 26th of February 2001, Welcome 2 Detroitwas James Dewitt Yancey aka Jay Dee’s first solo outing and the debut appearance of his new ‘J Dilla’ moniker (bestowed on him by none other than Busta Rhymes). The album also inaugurated the producer-led Beat Generation album series, which would later spawn classic LPs by DJ Jazzy Jeff, Pete Rock, DJ Spinna, Marley Marl and even will.i.am, all of whom had been inspired to reach for new creative heights by hearing Dilla’s magnum opus.

The album would prove to be the perfect distillation of Dilla’s Detroit. From Kraftwerk- inspired Tech Noir that would make Metroplex proud, through subtle echoes from Africa, live jazz-funk and bossa-nova grooves, to tough Midwest boom-bap, this record somehow showed reverence to the city’s past without ever leaving its present. Grimy street flows that somehow swayed like James Brown. Unquantized marvels, so free and alive in their bounce, that they could seduce the hardest of hard-rocks into the sweetest screwface! Diverse, multifaceted, super collaborative and yet somehow singular, Welcome 2 Detroit was the shy and humble James Yancey revealing his true self in the only way he knew how: through his music.


Dubstar - Not So Manic Now Acoustic (Pop)


Dubstar have recorded an intimate and homely acoustic version of Not So Manic Now to celebrate the 25th birthday of Disgraceful. The b-side is a cover of Free As A Bird. Why? When their debut album came out in 1995, Dubstar realised that it was coincidentally John Lennon’s birthday, and when Not So Manic Now was in the Top 20, Free As A Bird was too, which gave them the unexpected privilege of being in the charts at the same time as the Beatles. Including it here seems to heighten the nostalgia of the occasion, as it were.


Aerial East - Try Harder (Folk / Alternative / Indie)


Aerial East’s music explores the space between the conscious and unconscious mind, between what was and what will be. She dives into what she has known - adolescence, heartbreak, coming into a new social consciousness, and managing a perpetual unanchored-ness - in order to find a most surprising place to rest inside: the unknowable.

As the daughter of a military family, East spent her late childhood in Europe and teenage years in Abilene, Texas. After dropping out of community college, she moved to New York City where she’d meet a group of musicians whom she would come to befriend and collaborate with (including Okay Kaya, Kelsey Lu, Wet and more). She hopes to tell stories we don’t hear often. “I want to tell stories about people in Texas,” she says, “I want to humanize different characters.”

Try Harder is a tight yet eclectic record, both sonically and emotionally. “I didn’t want to hear any drums,” East says. “I was going through a period of high anxiety,” she explains, adding that she listened to a lot of solo-piano to calm down during moments of ungroundedness. “I wanted to make a record to be soothing in the same way [as the piano was for her].” So, much to the initial skepticism of her collaborators, East decided against adding drums to her songs. “I just wanted it to be healing and calm, something you can listen to even if the world is ending,” a feeling we can all relate to. The end result is a beautiful ode to those of us who feel like life sometimes is a little bit harder, that we don’t quite fit in, that our edges are rough – an album-length anthem for sitting in our own discomfort and groundlessness and finding a specific peace with it.


The Explorers Club - Rarities Vol 1 (Pop Rock)


Nashville-based Sunshine Pop band, The Explorers Club present the long awaited 11 track col-lection of Rarities (volume 1) from the Vaults, Including the long lost “Suites EPs” featuring rare covers and early mixes from the Grand Hotel album. These were previously only available via download bundles. Also featured are rare singles previously only available as limited downloads - All newly remastered for this limited edition package.


Ben Howard - What a Day / Crowhurst's Meme (Folk Indie / Acoustic)


First taster for the new Ben Howard album Collections From The Whiteout, which is produced by Aaron Dessner (The National, Sharon Van Etten, Taylor Swift).


Bobby Oroza - I Got Love (Funk / Soul)


The Finnish crooner Bobby Oroza is back with a new set of tunes that pick up right where his glorious 2018 debut album This Love left off. Right on time for Valentine’s Day, the A side I Got Love is a sweet soul anthem for those with their priorities straight and an encouraging reminder to those who may have lost sight of what is truly important in life. He sings about choosing love over all things material and recognizing what you have when you have it. The B side, Loving Body, is as seductive as it is profound. Bobby proposi- tions his love interest over a gorgeous Cold Diamond & Mink production for more than a light hearted love affair. Mr. Oroza is not your average Joe, and this is not your average roses and candy song. Bobby lays out his desire to become one loving body in the way two rivers become part of the sea. A beautiful song about attraction and desire that will be an instant staple in the sweet soul world and beyond.


Pacific Northwest Snuff Box - Garland Records (Country / Americana)


Rare and unissued Pacific Northwest rootsy Americana! In addition to stellar '60s psych and garage, Salem Oregon's Garland Records churned out some high quality, foot stompin', 'Country & Northwestern' music. Archived here are a barn load of true Americana from unheard originals like the Cascade Sweethearts' 'Hard Workin' Woman,' The Heard's unissued 'Sweet Thang' to stunning takes on Bob Dylan & Kris Kristofferson cuts. This is a PNW platter that you'd swear came from south of the Mason Dixon.


Rat Columns - Pacific Kiss (Indie Pop / Post Punk /Alternative)


Pacific Kiss is the fourth album from Australian musician David West’s underground pop band, Rat Columns. It was engineered by Griffin Harrison and DW in New York City and Perth, and mixed by Mikey Young in Victoria. Pacific Kiss sees Rat Columns plunging headfirst into an azure sea of power pop, rock’n’roll and indie. The tones are bright and optimistic, though fans of confusion and gloom will still find solace in the album’s darker moments, of which there are a few.


Red Dead Redemption II - Housebuilding EP (Soundtrack)


The Housebuilding EP contains long coveted tracks never before available, and demanded by fans. The EP is pressed on a brand new ‘Sky Blue’ vinyl color created specifically for this release!


The Romance of Baba Loco - Cling Cling For Funk Monkeys (Indie / Alternative)


Ethno-alternative lo-fi absurdism from the mind of london based multi-instrumentalist & primordial soup member, samuel huxley.

expect everything from hindu ceremonial music to dark lounge, post-punk & avant-garde, to kabuki theatre score & world electronica, any number of which can be found within a single track. the romance of baba loco is the union of wisdom & madness, eastern mysticism & western folly, absurdism to catch you with yer pantaloons down… bang bang smash to perennial illumination. cling clang for funk monkeys. the bejewelled vistas beyond, nihilism be gone… the donkey was not ill-tempered after many blows, on the ass, from the stick. he smiled like a gentleman, and kept on clip cloppin’ towards the promised land… the romance of baba loco is the latest iteration of a recording project by samuel huxley that originally made ambient soundscapes for psychotropics (paradise dose).

A changing focus of soup away from sound provoked samuel to channel his musical compulsions in to his solo project which had by then ventured far away from ambient soundscapes to shrieking indian and moroccan oboes over african & indian tribal rhythms, with the desire to create the raw lo-fi atmospheres of street music. gradually guitar styles of south east asia & latin america were introduced, leading to backing track solo performances & outrageous live improv freakouts with craig deporto (ex-flamingods) & luke bell (ex-wild birds of britain). finally two days before the glorious pandemic lock down, samuel signed to faith & industry, which birthed new moniker “the romance of baba loco” and 3 months worth of ceaseless creation. from the hindu ceremonial music of the shehnai & nadaswaram to post-punk, absurdism & experimental art, the romance of baba loco finally united two seemingly dissonant sides of his personality in a manner he had not previously achieved. the old material was cast off, and these peculiar fruits of imprisonment, can be found on his first release, “cling clang for funk monkeys”.


Mark Ski - Catch - REC (Hip Hop)


This is legendary UK DJ/Producer/Radio Personality, Mark Ski's first producer-album. The album consists of 12 tracks of big drums, heavy rhymes and razor-sharp cuts, exploring the broad palette of Hip-Hop from the 90's & beyond. The title-track Catch-Rec as well as Nitty Gritty have been getting spins on Shade45 from the likes of DJ Eclipse & DJ Premier.

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