Vinyl love: The Essex Green “Cannibal sea”

(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: The Essex Green
Album Title: Cannibal sea
Year released: 2006
Year reissued: 2018
Details: Limited edition, peak edition, opaque blue marble vinyl

The skinny: In January 2007, I purchased tickets and went to see Camera Obscura play Barrymore’s Concert Theatre here in Ottawa and as per usual, I headed down to the show early enough to catch the opening acts. One of these was Brooklyn-based indie rock band The Essex Green, whose blend of rock, folk, and psychedelia slid comfortably right into my wheelhouse. I enjoyed the energy, groove, and male/female traded vocals so much that I purchased a copy of their recent CD from the merch table. (While so doing, I had a conversation with multi-instrumentalist Sasha Bell about their cover of Flying Burrito Brothers’ “Older guys” at the end of their set). “Cannibal sea” became one of my favourite new discoveries and albums from around that time but sadly, The Essex Green went on hiatus shortly after that tour. Two years ago, the band surprised everyone (perhaps even themselves) by surfacing with a new album and to celebrate, their label, Merge Records, reissued their previous two long players on special edition ‘Peak’ vinyl. Obviously, I had to get myself a copy of “Cannibal sea” for my collection and as you can see, the baby blue marbling is just as pretty and peppy as their tunes.

Standout track: “Don’t know why (you stay)”*

*This very song appears on the playlist I created last summer out of songs by bands I’ve seen live as opening acts.

Vinyl love: The Decemberists “The crane wife”

(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: The Decemberists
Album Title: The crane wife
Year released: 2006
Year reissued: 2010
Details: Gatefold sleeve, 2 x LP

The skinny: Anyone who thought The Decemberists would temper their idiosyncratic sound and inventive, yet sometimes esoteric narrative lyrics for their major label debut, obviously never met the Portland-based five-piece. Songs included a prog rock masterpiece and a three part mini-rock opera based on a Japanese folk story, the latter being where this, their fourth album draws its name. Another brilliant work by one of my favourite bands.

Standout track: “O Valencia!”