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Vinyl

Vinyl love: Keane “Hopes and fears”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Keane
Album Title: Hopes and fears
Year released: 2004
Year reissued: 2017
Details: Gatefold sleeve, 180 gram, translucent green

The skinny: Back in 2004, when I first heard Keane’s single, “Somewhere only we know” (the standout track below), it reminded me of other English bands that I was already following at the time, like Coldplay, Embrace, and Travis. So, of course, I went out and got the debut album, “Hopes and fears”, on CD and found myself easily getting into the piano-focused, emotive indie rock. I had absolutely no idea how huge the album was in the band’s native country until I saw their performance at Live 8 and I was struck by their energy and dynamic as a trio led by the piano sound. From there, I became even more hooked and began to look forward to their followup album. Unfortunately, I was less enthused with that one and how it ventured further into pop territory, a trend that continued with each ensuing release. I don’t think I’ve even bothered to listen to Keane’s last two records but when I saw this green vinyl reissue sitting on the shelves at my local Sunrise Records location last year, I remembered the excitement I felt when I first listened to it and brought it home with me. I dropped the needle on it that very night and gladly reacquainted myself with every song.

Standout track: “Somewhere only we know”

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Vinyl

Vinyl love: Lowest of the Low “Sordid fiction”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Lowest of the Low
Album Title: Sordid fiction
Year released: 2004
Year reissued: 2018
Details: Black vinyl, part of five album box set, autographed and limited to 300 copies, (box set includes booklet, lyrics sheets, poster, and stickers)

The skinny: So yeah, today marks four years that I’ve been going strong with this blog. I thought long and hard about doing some sort of special post but in the end, I opted instead for experimenting with the format of the site* and another instalment on this “Shakespeare my box” series that I’ve been working on. Disc three in this Lowest of the Low set, like last week’s focus, is another disc that is seeing its first pressing to vinyl. Originally released ten years and a breakup/reunion cycle after their previous album, “Sordid fiction” was welcome news to fans like myself and of course, I bought it as soon it was released on compact disc. I’m not sure what I was expecting but the album fell somewhere in between the folk rock sound of the debut and the harder edged sophomore album and yeah, it had all the great Hawkins/Stanley songwriting. And whenever I listen to it, I think of the first time I attended Osheaga back in 2012 because this album was always being played between live acts on the small “Green” stage.

Standout track: “A casual overdose”

*Perhaps I’ll get myself together enough to pull together a special 5th anniversary post next year…

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: Secret Machines “Ten silver drops”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Secret Machines
Album Title: Ten silver drops
Year released: 2006
Year reissued: 2019
Details: gatefold, 2 x 180 gram, expanded deluxe, limited to 1227 copies, numbered 970

The skinny: Last week, I posted about “Now here is nowhere“, the very excellent debut album by Secret Machines, and the pressing by Run Out Groove vinyl that I couldn’t help but purchase for my collection when it was announced. As I mentioned there, Run Out Groove is a label that solicits votes from music fans on its website for three options each month and the potential reissue with the most votes gets a limited run based on the amount of advanced orders. Well, Secret Machines’ fans must be a rabid bunch because Run Out Groove has already done three pressings from the band in the label’s short history: the aforementioned debut, a rare live record, and this sophomore record, “Ten silver drops”. I’ve read the complaints about the low volume levels on the mastering for this pressing but that doesn’t bother me at all. It just needs to be cranked and it sounds amazing. And yeah, “Ten silver drops” is an album that demands to be cranked.

Standout track: “Lightning blue eyes”