Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: Cults “Cults”

(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: Cults
Album Title: Cults
Year released: 2011
Year reissued: 2022
Details: Limited edition, 10th anniversary, gold foil, signed

The skinny: Here’s a recent record purchase that illustrates the current state of our vinyl collecting woes. Dream pop duo Cults announced the special edition 10th anniversary pressings of their incredible self-titled debut back in June 2021. I remember thinking the price a bit steep and the projected December delivery date a bit far out but I jumped on it anyways. I had fallen in love with this album back in 2011 and its retro sounding wall of sound escapades. It had been on my vinyl collection wish list for a while and I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen a whiff of it at any of my local record shops. I opted for a the gold foil version and of course, I went for the signed option, given that it wouldn’t cost me anything more. I had nearly forgotten about ordering it when last Christmas rolled around but then, I saw an update on their Instagram account explaining how it was wildly delayed. I completely understood and went on with my holidays. Later news was that it would be delivered in February but then that month sailed by without further updates. I checked in with the online shop in April and was told it was pressed but no shipping date had yet been provided. The band finally received them in June, nearly a year after the reissues were initially announced, and I got mine near the end of July. No harm, no foul, because as you can see, it’s lovely. But between you and me, with the rising costs of these things, the delays, and delivery charges, my purchasing has slowed to a crawl this year.

Standout track: “Go outside”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: Engineers “Engineers”

(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: Engineers
Album Title: Engineers
Year released: 2005
Year reissued: 2022
Details: Gatefold sleeve, 2 x 180 gram, white, numbered 502/1500

The skinny: Of all the great albums released during the first shoegaze revival wave of the early 2000s, Engineers’ self-titled debut was one of my favourites. The group formed as a four-piece – Mark Peters, Simon Phipps, Dan MacBean, and Andrew Sweeney – in London back in 2003. I happened upon the debut shortly after its release and latched on to a great many of the songs, recognizing in Engineers’ aesthetic the bands of my youth. Though some of their later work was pretty great as well, I wasn’t as immediately enamoured with it, always holding it up to this fantastic debut. It had been on my wishlist from pretty much the beginning of my collecting days but given what I perceived as their cult-like status, I didn’t think my chances were great at finding a copy on vinyl. My hopes were raised earlier this year when I saw that Music on Vinyl was reissuing Engineers’ debut EP, “Folly”, for Record Store Day, especially given that label’s track record of reissuing other classic shoegaze works. Then, I caught wind of this reissue of the debut LP on 2 x 180 gram slabs of white vinyl and jumped headlong aboard the pre-order train. It’s a thing of beauty.

Standout track: “Come in out of the rain”

Categories
Tunes

Best tunes of 2013: #29 Low “Just make it stop”

<< #30    |    #28 >>

In 2013, Duluth, Minnesota-based indie rock act, Low, celebrated their twentieth anniversary as a group by releasing their 10th studio album, “The invisible way”. The trio of Alan Sparhawk (guitars/vocals), Mimi Parker (drums/vocals), and Steve Garrington (bass) enlisted the production help of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy for this outing. Apparently, though, the album didn’t stray too far from the group’s normal template of gentle, minimalist, beautiful tones. I say “apparently” because this is the album for which I first took notice of the group and embraced them. I gave “The invisible way” a thorough run through, ensuring they were thus on my radar for future releases but not going so far as to travel too far down their back catalogue road.

According to Sparhawk, the creative leader of the group, the only glaring differences between this album and the ones that came before was the addition of a lot more piano work and the fact that his partner in crime, Mimi Parker, shifts from her usual support role to take over lead vocals on five of the album’s tracks. Today’s tune, “Just make it stop”, is an example of one of these tracks.

“If I could just make it stop
Breaking my heart
Get out of the way
If I could just make it stop”

The second tune to be teased in advance of the album’s release is mostly driven by Parker’s delicate voice and her just as gentle brushing on the drums but about halfway through, we do get the addition of those aforementioned keys and a bit of bass muscle. Indeed, the song almost creeps into upbeat territory. But let’s stress the word “almost” here. Let’s not get too crazy because this is Low we are talking about, the band that quite possible inspired the term ‘slowcore’. I won’t belabour this, though. Just press play on the video below and let Parker haunt you too.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 2013 list, click here.