Today’s Socially Distant Spins is brought you to by Alex Matthew, founder of Vintage Society Music – one of the top music blogs in Scotland that focus on showcasing the best, upcoming bands and musicians through reviews / interviews and podcasts! This year, Alex started up Vintage Society Live hosting a number of incredible gigs including Black Tiles and Fabric Bear. We can’t wait to see what other gigs he has in store for us when things return to normal!
Find out what albums have been helping Alex throughout the lockdown below…
Album 1: DIIV – “Is the Is Are” (2016)
Why did it make the list? DIIV’s sophomore record and probably their most melancholic, this one’s a moving listen through it’s full seventeen tracks and sixty three minute runtime. Their ﬁrst two albums are very much records that function best when you listen the full way through, there’s a really smooth ﬂow about them as they traverse this really pretty soundscape with dark lyrical undertones (it’s pretty much all about getting high and the terrifying pains and pitfalls of addiction). If you listen properly then it’s depressing as hell but if you’re not in the mood you can just luxuriate in the elegant production. Seldom have I ever heard a band who can squeeze so much emotion and resulting tension into guitar riffs and tones.
TOP TRACKS: Bent (Roi’s Song), Dust, Take Your Time
Album 2: Parquet Courts – “Light Up Gold” (2013)
Why did it make the list? Punk-rock is one of my go to genres so I had to get a record from there in, I struggled to decide whether or not to opt for a classic or something a bit more modern. I’ve gone for the latter in the end with American masters Parquet Court’s unrestrained and raw debut, “Light Up Gold”. They hashed the recording of these ﬁfteen tracks out in New York over three days which is insane, it’s the untamed sound of four guys playing in a room but never falls from anything less than spectacular. I’ve got it on vinyl and it’s perfect! They’re translating this familiar punk-rock sound but with inventive lyrics, coated in humour and self deprecation, tackling current issues and topics. You could argue Parquet Courts have made better records since but there’s just something so wonderful about a band at their purest. I wish I could’ve seen these guys when this was released.
TOP TRACKS: Stoned and Starving, Master of My Craft, Donuts Only
Album 3: Pavement – “Crooked Rain Crooked Rain” (1994)
Why did it make the list? During isolation I’ve been hitting about nine mugs of coffee a day – three in the morning, four in the afternoon and two early evening-ish. This is the perfect record to brew coffee to. Pavement are just great, who doesn’t love Pavement? They’re the best! I can’t say anything about them that hasn’t been said before. If you haven’t listened to them previously, please stop reading this and do so now.
TOP TRACKS: Gold Soundz, Range Life, Cut Your Hair
Album 4: The Weeknd – “Trilogy” (2012)
Why did it make the list? I’ve cheated a little here by going for The Weeknd’s “Trilogy” which compiles his ﬁrst three mixtapes; House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence. I’ve been indulging in a lot of his back catalogue recently since the release of his latest record, “After Hours”, which is also brilliant. Similar to Parquet Courts there’s just something so fascinating about hearing a phenomenal artist at the beginning of their evolution. Pre super-stardom his songwriting is at it’s most brutally pessimistic and relatable whilst the production is just as infectious. This dropped just as mainstream music was in the midst of shifting away from rock and indie towards rap and R&B. People complain about that industry shift after the mid-2000s indie boom but the genre was bloated and repetitive, most mainstream bands had become dull. You need to keep innovating or people will get bored. The 2010s were fairly rubbish for new bigger bands but I think in the coming decade we’ll start to see another shift away from what’s current now and hopefully indie-bands can reinvent themselves, re-energise the genre and make a proper comeback in the mainstream. There’s deﬁnitely great stuff out there in the underground, it’s just waiting for it’s moment to break!
TOP TRACKS: House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls, The Fall, Loft Music
Album 5: Boy Azooga – “1,2, Kung Fu!” (2018)
Why did it make the list? Speaking of great indie infused bands that are just waiting for their moment to break, welsh wizards Boy Azooga sneakily released one of the coolest albums of the last decade in 2018. At a swift thirty ﬁve minutes I could listen to this record for hours and I have, again and again and again. It’s amazing! It traverses genres from heavier rock to psychedelic to disco, it’s ﬂawless with gorgeous sparkling production to match. I got myself a new pair of headphones the other day and this was one of the ﬁrst records I listened to with them. You can stick it on when you’re happy, when you’re sad, when you’re bored, when you’re walking to the train and it works to the same degree of high satisfaction. I saved the best for last! Go listen to this record and also check out their KEXP session. It’s brilliant too!
TOP TRACKS: Loner Boogie, Jerry, Losers in the Tomb
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