This Month's Vinyl Picks: April 2021
Exclusives from Royal Blood and Ariana Grande, a 'timeless' drum and bass classic and the return of Field Music - all this and more coming to wax this month...
Royal Blood - Typhoons
Hot on the heels of recent singles ‘Limbo’, ‘Trouble’s Coming’ and the title track of their impending third album, ‘Typhoons’, South coast duo Royal Blood make a triumphant return this month with their full-length offering, with the brand new LP set to make its arrival on April 30.
Typhoons features 11 new tracks which add a slightly more electronic twist on their trademark, riff-driven sound, with production contributions on the new album from Adele hitmaker Paul Epworth and Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme. Alongside the standard vinyl edition there’s also a limited edition featuring an exclusive art print, available only at hmv!
London Grammar – Californian Soil
Ministry of Sound
Almost four years on from the chart-topping success of their second full-length effort Truth Is a Beautiful Thing, electronic trio London Grammar return this month with their third album, Californian soil, which is set to land in stores on all formats on April 16.
There are no fewer than three vinyl options on offer for their new album, including a standard black vinyl LP, a deluxe box set including a CD, clear vinyl, lithograph art print and hardback book, and a new addition to our exclusive 1921 Series with a limited edition picture disc.
Ariana Grande – Positions
After an online release late last year and a CD release in March, Ariana Grande’s sixth studio album, which includes guest appearances from Th eWeeknd, Ty Dolla $ign and Doja Cat, finally comes to vinyl this month with two different options available from April 9.
Both are single-disc LPs containing all 14 tracks, and in addition to a standard version pressed onto ‘Coke bottle green’ vinyl, there’s also a limited edition version pressed onto glow-in-the-dark vinyl which is available exclusively at hmv.
Field Music – Flat White Moon
Sunderland-born brothers David and Peter Thewlis only seem to get more and more prolific as time goes one, having already turned in two more albums in their Field Music guise since the excellent Commontime arrived in 2016, with their most recent full-length offering Making a New World arriving just last year.
This month they’re back once again with their ninth album in all, Flat White Moon, which is due to land in stores on April 23. There’s a standard vinyl option offer and – if you’re quick – you can still get your hands on a limited signed copy.
Holding Absence – The Greatest Mistake of My Life
Now operating as a three-piece after the departure of bassist James Joseph, the latest in a number of line-up shifts over their brief lifespan, Cardiff post-hardcore outfit Holding Absence unveil the follow-up to their eponymous debut album this month, with their brand new full-length offering The Greatest Mistake of My Life – which does still feature their erstwhile bassist - set to land in stores on April 16.
There are some gorgeous vinyl options too, with a couple of coloured 2LP sets on offer – one swirly-looking number called ‘oxblood on creamy white’ vinyl, the other a hmv exclusive pressed onto violet vinyl.
Goldie – Timeless (25th Anniversary Edition)
Goldie may not have been the first one to coin the terms ‘jungle’ or ‘drum and bass’, but few artists had a bigger hand in shaping the sound of a genre that was emerging rapidly throughout the early 90s, and his 1995 album Timeless was undoubtedly a keystone in its development. Between its sprawling, symphonic title track and iconic moments such as ‘Inner City Pressure’, Timeless broke new ground and remains one of the era’s defining albums.
The album reached its 25th anniversary last year and to mark the occasion a new limited edition arrives on the shelves this month. Packaged as a 3LP set pressed onto gold vinyl and housed in a gatefold sleeve, the album has been newly remastered and makes its re-entry into stores on April 9.
Plastic Ono Band - John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
John Lennon’s first solo album, created in the months following the Beatles dissolution, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band arrived in 1970 and stood in stark contrast to his previous output, both in its sound and its conception. Released alongside Yoko Ono’s similarly-titled and even more experimental volume, Lennon’s solo debut was heavily influenced by his recent experiences with primal therapy, and songs such as ‘Mother’ and ‘Working Class Hero’ still crackle with raw emotion.
The album has recently been completely remixed from the original master tapes, overseen by Grammy-winning engineer Phil Hicks at the same Abbey Road studios where it was recorded, and the new version is due to arrive on all formats on April 23, including an expanded 2LP vinyl edition featuring new mixes of the original tracklist on one disc and a series of alternative takes on the other, as well as a fold-out ‘War Is Over’ poster.
The Selecter – Too Much Pressure (40th Anniversary Edition)
Along with bands like The Beat, Bad Manners and others signed to the Coventry-based 2 Tone Records imprint founded by The Specials maestro Jerry Dammers, The Selecter, led by charismatic vocalist Pauline Black, were one of the key proponents of the ska-revivalist movement that sprang to life around the Midlands in the late 1970s and early 80s, scoring an early hit with their single ‘On My Radio’ and releasing their debut album Too Much Pressure in 1980.
The landmark album celebrated its 40th birthday last year and a special anniversary edition of their debut is heading into stores on April 23, with both a CD box set and a special edition vinyl release that includes both a 12” disc featuring the album’s original 13 tracks, and a bonus 7” containing ‘On My Radio’ and ‘Too Much’ Pressure’.
Laurie Anderson – Big Science
Nearly 40 years on from the moment that ‘O, Superman’ first appeared like a haunting spectre on UK radio playlists, becoming something of a surprise hit for its avant-garde, New York-based creator Laurie Anderson, there still hasn’t been anything else quite like it. Like the rest of the tracks that featured on her 1982 debut album Big Science, it still sounds as otherworldly and deeply affecting as it ever did.
Remastered for its 25th anniversary but long out of print on vinyl, Anderson’s startling debut returns to wax this month with a new vinyl reissue of the album available from April 9.