Record Store Day

Today is Record Store Day. You could of course spend the day buying the albums you loved on vinyl but never owned on CD, or fill in the gaps in the 70s Jethro Tull back catalogue. Or even waste your money on cynical cash-in box sets.

Or instead you could buy some exciting new music released in 2014. At least some of these albums have been seen on the shelves of my local HMV.

  • Panic Room, Incarnate – A little more stripped-back, intimate and confessional than the wide-screen rock of its predecessor, their fourth album is a beautiful work which may take a few listens to fully appreciate its subtleties.
  • Gazpatcho, Demon – Dark and sinister folk-prog from Norway. At times it sounds like Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis fronting The Decemberists, at times there are strong echoes of Marillion. This is another of those records that will reward after many listens.
  • Matt Stevens, Lucid – An ambitious and varied instrumental album that defies easy pigeonholing. The London-based guitarist has been one of the more interesting, innovative and genre-busting artists in the contemporary progressive scene for a while now, and this album sees him raise his game to a new level.
  • Halo Blind, Occupying Forces – Combines indie-rock guitars with progressive rock atmospherics. Shimmering summery pop numbers with a hint of darkness and melancholy flow into one another to build into something more than the sum of the parts.
  • Bigelf, Into the Maelstrom – Imagine the melodic ear of The Beatles, the sense of doom of Black Sabbath, the theatricality of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, the musical ambition of King Crimson, and the lack of restraint of early Queen. That’s what this album sounds like.
  • Morpheus Rising, Exmimus Humanus – Classic old-school twin-guitar hard rock given a modern makeover.
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4 Responses to Record Store Day

  1. I’m way, way behind on newly-released music, but the Swan’s “Seer” is a recent release that comes to mind as being worthy of attention. Just copped it the other week and am still lost in it, the way one gets up to one’s knees in Proust.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    That’s a 2012 release, isn’t it? A fairly intense listen, and manages to make Storm Corrosion seem mainstream by comparison.

  3. It is, that shows you how far behind I am! My problem is that my to-listen pile is usually dozens tall at any given time and features discs from any number of years.

    I relocated recently, so I need to scare up a good indie record store or three in my area.

  4. PaulE says:

    Do I detect a little rebuke to “completism” ? Although I quite agree that recent trends for box sets have pushed the boundaries of acceptability on prices and content, I would probably have given up on music if I hadn’t been able to indulge in a bit of collecting when everything was being issued on CD.
    But I also believe that it makes sense to buy the work of people who are recording now since they are then more likely to produce more.
    Therefore, the only response I can give is to buy the whole of your list :) – or at least the two I hadn’t previously bought.