(Credit: Victrola Record Players)

From Greta Van Fleet to Deftones: The best new vinyl released this week

Finding your new favourite musical artist is not easy in today’s digital streaming-oriented world. With millions of artists to choose from, how do you even go about making that choice?

Countless digital streaming sites allow for instantaneous listening via your mobile phones while you are on the go, and let’s face it, most people are always on the go. The way we listen to music is just as important as what we listen to. 

Arguably, the best way to listen to music is on vinyl. It is organic and gives us the sense that what we are listening to exists in the physical world and in the tangible. While album artwork still exists via digital platforms, holding vinyl sleeves with the artwork displayed on the front and back, creates a very real experience in a world increasingly characterised by digital technology.

Trends and statistics have shown that there is still very much a place for analogue – most upcoming artists will typically pay the costs to have their music pressed on vinyl, for posterity’s sake as well as a very effective way of making money at live concerts.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily disabled live music, in today’s music industry where artists are struggling to make money via digital streaming, vinyl records are in fact, essential to include in one’s merchandise as a way of creating an income. When browsing for vinyl this is a consideration to realise that newer musical artists depend on audience members to purchase their new vinyl records.

This week, as with every week, we took a look at the best new vinyl released and reissued.

The best vinyl released this week:

Music is my Religion – Buckwild

Buckwild has been an important hip-hop producer who has worked behind the scenes for over 20 years now. Music is My Religion is a collection of collaborations with various rappers he wrote songs with and produced. 

Among the big names he has silently done his magic with, include, Notorious B.I.G, Fat Joe, and O.C. This is a vinyl reissue of the album that came out in 2020. Looking for some quality underground hip-hop? This is for you.

Birdy Island – Howie Lee

Chinese producer, Howie Lee explores themes of a post-capitalist world enthralled in the phenomenon of the mass exodus of Chinese residents moving from an urban setting back to a rural one. 

Birdy Island, which came out this week, is a fascinating record that combines traditional Chinese music with modern electronica. With rapid economic growth under a planned economic approach, China is, in many ways, undergoing some of the same existential questions that those in the West are undergoing: is a society based on a hyper-focus on monetary value, really all that worthwhile? What becomes of the human soul? 

1982 – The Living

The Living was a pre-Guns ‘N’ Roses 1982 band which bass player, Duff McKagan was in. The record came out this week, and it features songs that McKagan wrote before he became a megastar.

The drummer of the band, Greg Gilmore rediscovered these seven songs that The Living recorded in 1982: “This record is a fantastic document of a loaded moment. I love it,” Gilmore said in an interview with Rolling Stone. McKagan was living in Seattle at the time before he moved to LA.

White Pony – Deftones

White Pony came out originally 21-years-ago, and the album has been reissued for its anniversary. Deftones rose to prominence on the wave of a mutation of metal, known as nu-metal. 

Their third record, White Pony, saw the band move slightly away from the genre, which proved to be a successful move. What’s different about this record than their others, is the inclusion of other types of music, including industrial, trip-hop, and electronic ambience. 

The Battle at The Garden’s Gate – Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet’s new album, The Battle at the Garden’s Gate came out this week, and it is everything you would expect from these young hopeful rockers. You have to hand it to them, they are talented and skilled musicians, but don’t exactly have a single strain of originality in them. 

Perhaps their entire music is simply a statement against the non-believers who say “rock ‘n’ roll is dead” but unfortunately they are only proving these people right, by literally sounding exactly like the archetype of what has already come and gone.

Arrivals – Declan O’Rourke

Irish singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke released his seventh album this week, Arrivals, produced by the one and only Paul Weller. O’Rourke blew up in Ireland when he released his 2006 debut, Since Kyabram. O’Rourke is a gem of a songwriter who is often overlooked.

Arrivals sees O’Rourke present his masterful acoustic guitar picking and beautiful and simple storytelling. Arrivals presents O’Rourke’s stripped-down acoustic playing with very little pretension and production. No subject is off-limits, whether it is big or small, O’Rourke has an authentic way of describing the details. 

Jesse Aycock – Jesse Aycock

Jesse Aycock’s new self-titled album released this week via Horton Records, sounds like he is related to Sean Lennon. In his new album, Aycock explores reverb-soaked indie rock. 

Aycock is old-school in the tradition of The Beatles; with catchy melodies and simple imagery, Aycock is fairly easy to listen to with a little something for everyone. 

Firestations – Melted Medium 

Melted Medium is the second instalment of a trilogy of EPs called the ‘automatic tendencies’ EPs. Firestations explore themes of identity, progress and escapism with their unique brand of alt-pop. 

Their music is slightly informed by disco, with early-2000s indie pop and psychedelic shoegaze influence. Melted Mediums came out March 5th in 2020, and has been reissued on vinyl this week via Lost Map records.

Piper – I’m not in Love

Originally released in 1981, I’m Not In Love cemented Piper’s blend of soft rock and soulful funk. It has been reissued on vinyl through Ship to Shore for the first time in 40 years.

Complete with synthesizers and pool-side ’80s breeze lounge music, this isn’t for everyone, but certainly has a place in the musical landscape of today’s age where many modern musicians are pulling from this era of music.