Notable vinyl releases out this Friday - 31 May (2024)

Alan Vega Insurrection

  • In The Red Records
  • New wave, Post punk
In The Red Records is proud to announce a previously unreleased new album by Brooklyn-born master of minimalism Alan Vega, Insurrection. The eleven songs here showcase the unparalleled vision and uncompromising force from one of the most influential artists of all time.Alan Vega was born in Brooklyn in 1938. He co-founded the legendary New York City punk band Suicide with Martin Rev in 1970. Suicide's groundbreaking 1977 debut is considered one of the most influential albums of all time. Vega considered his solo records the audio counterpoint to his visual art that reflected the world around him while simultaneously exploring universal themes. It makes his work as relevant today as it was when he created them. It was during his highly experimental period beginning in the late '80s that he began working with Liz Lamere, who became the most crucial collaborator of his solo career until his death in 2016. Lamere, along with Jared Artaud, resurrected these newly unearthed collection of lost recordings, which they co-produced and mixed. Lamere and Artaud spearhead the Vega Vault project, which aims to bring rare, unreleased and back catalog work spanning Alan Vega and Suicide's career to the public for the first time.On Insurrection, Lamere says: "Insurrection was created in the time period around 1997/98, after Mutator and prior to Vega's 1999 release of 2007 and captures the intense energy of NYC in the '90s rife with crime, killing, hate, fascism, racism, and moral bankruptcy. You can hear the tortured souls floating through this album. Post-Gulf War angst still enveloped Alan. He was having premonitions about a major terror attack in the US, well before 9/11. The upcoming birth of his son raised further awareness of the state of our world. All these emotions are mirrored in the sounds he magnetized. And true to Vega form, there remains hope and empowerment coursing through the tracks. In the almost three decades of going into the studio with Vega, we recorded significantly more material than the seven albums released. Vega's intention was to experiment with sound which would become the canvas for the poetry that reflected his vision of the universe. Because the goal wasn't to make albums, he had no timeline or constraints and would freely follow new paths uncovered along the way."
Buy it here →

Arooj Aftab Night Reign

  • Verve Label Group
  • Electronic
Night Reign is the new album from GRAMMY-winner Arooj Aftab, an ode to the night as her primary source of inspiration and a vivid reflection of the creative community she has fostered in her home of Brooklyn, New York.  Featuring nine original compositions, three English-language tracks, and an array of guest artists, Night Reign is a perfumed, public garden of renewal, desire, shelter, and love guided by Aftab’s voice – its reach and intensity complementing the sun’s departure.
Buy it here →

Bat for Lashes The Dream of Delphi

  • Verve Label Group
  • Alternative
The Dream Of Delphi is an ode to motherhood created in LA, Natasha’s second home, during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a sonic archive of a time when Natasha birthed her daughter Delphi earth side. The record weaves together ten song poems, documenting the polarity of navigating both an exterior world that was seemingly turning upside down, whilst also experiencing theprofoundly personal and transformational early moments of mothering Delphi, named after the Greek Oracle, the ancient future teller. The music became Natasha’s sanctuary, born out of stolen trips to the studio, where each track was improvised and completed in a few hours and chronologises her diary like offerings over a period of two years;  from “The Midwives Have Left”;  to writing a “Letter To My Daughter”; and all the way through to “Waking up”, as well as a cover of her daughter’s favourite song, “Home”.While the storytelling behind Bat For Lashes’ previous albums have traditionally used otherworldly narratives and female lead characters (e.g. ‘Laura’, ‘Daniel’ and ‘The Bride’), for the first ti me, The Dream Of Delphi is about Natasha’s personal experience of the magical and sometimes melancholy intimacy of early motherhood. This record creates a more private form of mythology around the music than her previous work. The Dream Of Delphi touches on more of an instrumental “Bat For Lashes” world, and shows Natasha to be both a confident composer and craftswoman of intimate landscapes. While the music creates a more womb-like, ambient space for the listener, it still leaves ample room for her signature dream pop songwriting to vibrate through. 
Buy it here →

Ben Platt Honeymind

  • Interscope Records
  • Pop
Honeymind is Ben Platt’s anticipated third album (and debut on Interscope and Polydor Records), named for the “honeylike” state of being in love (“like all the jagged thoughts and fears and anxieties in my brain are slowly smoothed out, until my mind is coated with warmth and sweetness,”). The album was Executive Produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile), written with notable songwriters Hillary Lindsey, Natalie Hemby, and Alex Hope, and sees Ben exploring a more understated, folk leaning sound.
Buy it here →

Crowded House Gravity Stairs

  • Bmg Rights Mgt Australia
  • Pop, Rock
For more than four decades, Crowded House leader Neil Finn has been on an evolving, winding journey. Crowded House’s mid-Eighties hits like “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and “Something So Strong,” combined with albums like Woodface and Together Alone, set the standard for the period’s erudite jangle-pop while always pushing the band’s art forward. That creative spirit brings Finn and his Crowded House bandmates to Gravity Stairs, their first new release since 2021’s Dreamers Are Waiting and eighth overall. Produced by the band with Steven Schram, the album shows Crowded House in its current incarnation—Finn, Nick Seymour, Mitchell Froom, and Finn’s sons Elroy and Liam—as sharp as ever, feeling musically adventurous, and still capable of reaching the staggering highs that have made them an international favorite. It’s the act of climbing those figurative “gravity stairs,” inspired by a heavy stone staircase near where Finn vacations, that he likens to his own mindset as a creator
Buy it here →

Maya Hawke Chaos Angel

  • Mom+Pop
  • Alternative
Maya Hawke is a musician, songwriter, actor and producer. She has released two lauded albums of music to date, Moss (2022) and Blush (2020), both of which showcase her natural gift for songwriting and storytelling, as well as a knack for striking visual presentation with sleeve designs of her own creation. “Thérèse,” the lead single from Moss, garnered global attention with its mesmerizing Brady Corbet-directed video - and tens of millions of streams - and saw Maya make an impressive network TV performance debut on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Maya and her band picked up a slew of rave reviews for sold out shows in the US and EU, as well as support slots for Bright Eyes and Faye Webster. Now 25 years old, Maya’s third album, Chaos Angel, takes the spare, viscerally honest songwriting she has made her name on and goes deeper and bolder. Both her most sonically sophisticated and thematically nuanced collection to date, it feels like a culmination. Across these 10 songs, Hawke catalogs upheavals, revelations, foibles, and broken promises, all while navigating the patterns we repeat while reaching towards growth, wandering astray, and finding our way back to some core understanding of ourselves. Chaos Angel is also a document of Hawke coming more fully into her own as a musician. More adventurous in the studio after her previous two albums, Hawke leaned into her ambition. Many of these tracks are still anchored by acoustic guitar and Hawke’s graceful yet conversational vocals, but their surroundings are more intricate and lush than ever before. She reconvened with longtime collaborators Benjamin Lazar Davis and Will Graefe, with Christian Lee Hutson serving as producer.
Buy it here →

Thou Umbilical

  • Sacred Bones
  • Doom, Hardcore, Metal, Punk
Thou has always been a force of raw energy and unapologetic dissent, defying easycategorization and challenging listeners to confront the complexities of existence.Though often lumped in with New Orleans sludge bands like Eyehategod and Crowbar, Thou transcends genre boundaries, drawing inspiration from a diverse array ofinfluences spanning from '90s proto-grunge icons like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, andSoundgarden (all of whom they've covered extensively) to the raw intensity of obscure'90s DIY hardcore punk found on labels like Ebullition, Vermiform, and Crimethinc.Their latest record Umbilical, Thou's first full-length release of original music sincetheir 2018 Sacred Bones debut Magus, is their firmest nod to the latter - a record filledwith mosh-ready riffs, heavy breakdowns and scathing vocals. The band's aesthetic andpolitical impulses have always been punk and like anyone embroiled in the subcultureThou have been exploring what it means to exist within and without a rigid morality.That exploration takes thematic center on Umbilical and their self-assessment is asharsh as that of the world around them.They've called us anarchists, criminals, foreign meddlers, lunatics, dispossessed, relativists,utilitarians, egoists, passion maximizers, ascetics, negators of everything. Clearly, the "Thou"experiment is never going to appeal to audiences who demand that art rigorously enforce acoherent and righteous worldview.And yet, are we not ourselves constrained by our own rigid morality? In those quiet momentsof deep contemplation, when the bargains and concessions are thoroughly examined, whenwe yield before the Judging Eye-what is the summation of our choices? If the unspoiled selfbeyond the immensity of time were given voice, what pronouncements would be made? Whatwould such an internal audit yield? What undeniable character would be revealed?This record is for the radicals, the crackpots, the exiles who have escaped the wasteland ofcapitulation. This record is for the militants and zealots refusing to surrender to comforts, topracticalities, to thirty pieces of silver. And this record is most especially for the weaklings andmalingerers, burdened by capricious indulgence, hunched by the deep wounds of compromise,shuffling in limp approximation, desperately reaching back towards integrity and conviction.
Buy it here →

Unessential Oils Unessential Oils

  • Secret City Records
  • Alternative
Unessential Oils is the search for something authentic. Bits and pieces of Warren Spicer’s life – traumas and weaknesses, successes and breakthroughs, moments of clarity and enlightenment mixed with the mundane and menial. The weight of grief and anger imposed on the joy and ecstatic freedom of new life. “I wanted to expose truths and realities inside myself, and not create illusions and beautiful places in which to hide and conceal myself. It’s the opposite of escapism, it’s about the feeling of home and safety and welcoming people into my world,” explains Warren. The result is an album that is somewhat like a jazz record in that it focuses on the musicians’ performances. Many of the songs are quite minimal in terms of songwriting, but the execution and the musicianship are at the heart of this album; they are adventurous with room for embellishment and improvisation. “I made the record in a way where I was pursuing the sounds and voices of people I wanted and loved. I tried to make them sound even more Iike themselves, I wanted their instincts, I wanted what they sounded like when they weren’t being recorded. I wanted joy and warmth while we worked. I cooked a lot during the sessions, and we lived well. We became a family. The atmosphere was laid back and exciting.” The microphones were turned up loud and everyone played quietly, complementing Warren’s vocals, which are more conversational in terms of range and volume, almost under-sung. The four backup singers are singing in unison – a hat tip to the backing-vocal style in Brazilian Tropicalía records – gently enveloping the lead vocals.
Buy it here →

Willie Nelson The Border

  • Legacy Recordings
  • Country
The Border is legendary country artist Willie Nelson’s 75th solo studio record of new material. Produced by Willie’s longtime collaborator, Buddy Cannon, The Border features four newly penned tracks by the pair combined with a half dozen tunes from some of their favorite songwriters including two cowritten by Rodney Crowell plus Shawn Camp, Mike Reid and Bobby Tomberlin. Backed by some of Nashville’s finest musicians, the album is another instant classic to follow up their last album of new material, A Beautiful Time which won Best Country Album at the 2023 Grammys.
Buy it here →
View all vinyl released this week →