Vinyl love: Better Oblivion Community Center “Better Oblivion Community Center”

(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: Better Oblivion Community Center
Album Title: Better Oblivion Community Center
Year released: 2019
Details: standard black

The skinny: I’m finishing off the re-visit of my five favourite albums of 2019 with this, my number one album of the year: the self-titled debut by the collaborative project, Better Oblivion Community Center. (If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that I skipped over my number two album. And that’s because The National’s “I am easy to find” received the ‘Vinyl love’ treatment shortly after it hit the shelves back in May of last year.) Released as a bit of a surprise to both of their sets of fans, this album brings together Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst, two indie artists of varying success, age, and experience. As I said back in December: “Better Oblivion Community Center is more than two like-minded indie folk singer/songwriters working together. Despite their differences in backgrounds, experiences, and age, their work on this album suggests they are bringing the best out in each other, stretching each out of their collective comfort zones.” I missed out on the initial limited edition, coloured vinyl release but managed to find this one for my collection a few months later. This pressing is the standard, bare bones release but for some reason, my copy has the B-side label affixed to both sides of the disc. Does anyone else have this or was it just my luck?

Standout track: “Dylan Thomas”

Vinyl love: Tallies “Tallies”

(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: Tallies
Album Title: Tallies
Year released: 2019
Details: Canadian version, limited to 300 copies, ultra clear with light blue swirl

The skinny: In case you missed it, over the last two weekends, I have been re-counting down my top five albums from 2019, as well as featuring the vinyl packaging of each in this space. Two weeks ago, I posted my number five album, Orville Peck’s debut album “Pony”, and last week, I shared some snaps of “This is not a safe place” by Ride, which hit number four on my year end list. This week’s vinyl love is my number three album from 2019, the self-titled, debut album by new Canadian indie pop quartet, Tallies. As I mentioned back in December: “…”Tallies” is another good reason why we should still be excited about the indie music being made here in Canada. [They] have been described as shoegaze but I would place them more as dream pop, and yes, there is a difference. There’s plenty of jangle and twinkle and rays of sunshine, and man, is it easy on the ears!” The version of the album I purchased is one that’s only available in Canada, limited to 300 pieces, and the disc is ultra clear, save for a baby blue blotch in the middle. And yeah, the pastel motif definitely matches the sprightliness of their sound.

Standout track: “Trouble”

Vinyl love: Ride “This is not a safe place”

(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: Ride
Album Title: This is not a safe place
Year released: 2019
Details: 2 x 12″ LP, 45 rpm, embossed lettering on cover

The skinny: “This new [album] finds Mark Gardener, Andy Bell, Loz Colbert, and Steve Queralt revelling in being back in a fully realized band. Yeah, there is more confidence and energy and a sense that they want to explore and experiment more with their sound. After five years back as a whole, this sounds like it’s the first time that Ride knows exactly who they want to be and it’s bursting out from all speakers.” These are some of the words I wrote about “This is not a safe place” when I presented it as my fourth favourite album from 2019. I also wrote about how I went out to one of my locals on the day it was released to purchase this fine copy, pressed to two slabs at 45 rpm. It sounds lovely and even more so with repeat spins. And yeah, that title is quite prescient with the times we are now living in, isn’t it?

Standout track: “Clouds of Saint Marie”