Vinyl love: The National “High violet”

(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 National
Album Title: High violet
Year released: 2010
Details: Limited edition, double heavyweight vinyl, violet, gatefold

The skinny: A few weeks ago, “High Violet”, the fifth album by American indie rock band, The National, turned ten years old. To celebrate, their label, 4AD, released an expanded edition anniversary edition of the album, the vinyl version including an additional LP of bonus material and all three discs pressed in a lovely, white and purple marbling. I didn’t pre-order it because I’m not at the point (yet) of buying multiple versions of the same album for my vinyl collection and besides, I’m pretty happy with the limited edition, original pressing on heavyweight, violet vinyl that I found a bunch of years ago. You may debate “High violet” that is not their best work but it built on the exposure gained by The National’s previous record, “Boxer”, and well, I think it’s some pretty fine music (two of the tracks, including the one below, appeared on my Best tunes of 2010 list). The National’s sombre and atmospheric sound is just so great on vinyl and is on full display here. In fact, I remember the first time I listened to this record after purchasing it and, I think my friend Mark will agree with me here, I thought it sounded very different from the version on CD.

Standout track: “Conversation 16”

Vinyl love: Various artists “Tiny Changes: A Celebration Of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight'”

(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: Various artists
Album Title: Tiny Changes: A Celebration Of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’
Year released: 2019
Details: Double LP, 24 page booklet

The skinny: Back in the middle of January, I went on a bit of a Frightened Rabbit kick, posting photos from the one time I saw them live in 2013, as well as ‘Vinyl love’ instalments for the albums “The midnight organ fight”, “Pedestrian verse”, and “Painting of a panic attack”, and all of this in the span of a week. However, I waited until today, what is widely-acknowledged as the second anniversary of frontman Scott Hutchison’s death, to post this, the only other Frightened Rabbit-related vinyl in my collection (for now). This tribute to “The midnight organ fight” was in the works before Hutchison’s suicide, the recording of the album’s tunes by friends of the band were already mostly recorded to celebrate the album’s 10th anniversary, but the remaining band members decided to refocus its release after the fact. They named it for the mental health charity launched in honour of Hutchison and donated a portion of the album’s sales to it as well. The album includes covers by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Canadian indie rockers Wintersleep, fellow Scots The Twilight Sad, dream-poppers Daughter, and the lovely one below by Julien Baker. This heavyweight double-LP pressing includes a 24-page booklet filled with words and memories supplied by other members of Frightened Rabbit and by the artists that performed the covers (a few of these are shown above). And reading these really hits you hard and you can’t escape the feeling that we’ve lost a great songwriter. We miss you Scott.

Standout track: “The modern leper” as covered by Julien Baker

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”