Record Store Day 2019 is almost here, and while supermarkets have been stockpiling food for Brexit, record stores across the country are stocking up on the limited vinyl releases that have become synonymous with Record Store Day. For the past four years I’ve woken up early and trekked to my local record stores, first in London, now in Brighton, to see if I can get my hands on some gorgeous vinyl records, and this year I’m planning to do the same.
Is it my imagination or does the list of limited vinyl seem to get longer every year? On opening up the official release page on the Record Store Day UK site I felt a wave of overwhelming panic – how can so much music exist and how will I ever manage to listen to it all? One of the brilliant things about the RSD releases is that they remind us of how varied and expansive musical tastes can be. It’s so easy to get stuck into listening to just a couple of genres, especially now that algorithms have such an influence over our listening habits, but it’s important to remember the diversity of artistic expression and open ourselves up to that.
I waded through the pages of Babyshark picture discs and Transformers OSTs (yes, those are actual releases this year) to compile a list of records that I would love to own. To be clear, I’ll probably go broke if I’m lucky enough to find all of these, but I’d be pretty chuffed to get my paws on any of them on 13 April.
My Record Store Day 2019 Wishlist
Air – Surfing on a Rocket
This Air 12” is pretty expensive for a single, although the picture disc artwork is gorgeous. I’ve had somewhat of a tradition of buying the Air release every Record Store Day, starting with the “Playground Love” 7” in 2015, so I’d love to get this if I can.
Brigitte Bardot – B.B. La Legende
Pressed on pink vinyl, this Bardot LP is a classic. I already own a picture disc pressing of this but as a huge fan of yé-yé music (French sixties pop) this pressing would make a beautiful addition to my collection.
Courtney Barnett – Everybody Here Hates You
How could I resist Courtney Barnett? The artwork on this single was hand-illustrated by Barnett herself in the same style as her 2015 LP Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit and her 2013 double EP A Sea of Split Peas. Barnett’s art perfectly complements her music and always reminds me of David Shrigley’s playful style. Would I buy this single even just to frame the artwork? Possibly.
Jeff Buckley – In Transition
Grace was a formative album for me. I remember going through a phase in my teens when I discovered Jeff Buckley, first through his iconic cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and then through listening to his LP Grace over and over again. Every song is filled with a heady mix of doubt and melancholy, as soft glimmers of hope dance within. In Transition features seven previously unreleased studio tracks including early versions of Buckley’s songs “Mojo Pin” and “Last Goodbye.”
Adam French – Slow Dancing
I first saw Adam French perform live at Bushstock Festival last year and was excited to see that not only has he finally released his debut LP, The Back Foot And The Rapture, but he’s also releasing a limited 7” single for Record Store Day this year. French’s music is sensitive, vulnerable, and yet still powerful – highly recommended if you haven’t listened to him before. “Slow Dancing” is pressed on orange vinyl and I don’t think that it’s ever been released previously, although French has been performing it live.
Honeyblood – Third Degree / She’s A Nightmare
Taken from Honeyblood’s upcoming third album, In Plain Sight, the tracks featured on this double a-side record are the album’s two lead singles. In Plain Sight is scheduled for release on 24 May and will be the first album with only founding member Stina Tweeddale on it. I adore the tarot-inspired album art on this single – illustrated by Chrysa Koukoura – and just like the Barnett release I can imagine framing this.
Fela Kuti & Roy Ayers – Music of Many Colours
Pressed on “rainbow starburst” vinyl, this is the first pressing of Music of Many Colours since the late 1980s. It’s a joint album between Fela Kuti and Roy Ayers, and was recorded after a 1979 three week tour of Nigeria, where Ayers opened for Kuti and his band. This record is being reissued by Knitting Factory Records, who also pressed the 2017 RSD release of I Go Shout Plenty which I featured in my haul of that year, so I know that the quality of this record should be pretty high.
I’ve noticed that there are quite a few soundtrack albums being released this year, and while I originally planned to resist these, Ghostworld was such an important film to me growing up that I couldn’t help myself. I love the original Daniel Clowes graphic novel, and Enid and Rebecca’s cynical yet humorous take on the world tapped into a vision of what it is to be a young woman that doesn’t usually get talked about. This pressing, on blue vinyl, is the first ever for the album. Director Terry Zwigoff pulls together an eclectic mix of blues, Bollywood and the film’s original theme to make what sounds like the album I’ve always wanted and needed in my life.
Lost In Translation OST
Another soundtrack album to another great film. I’ve mentioned before that Sofia Coppola’s debut, The Virgin Suicides, is one of my favourite films, and Lost In Translation is definitely up there too. With its themes of (arguably somewhat self-imposed) cultural isolation and the gaps between what we want and what we do, it’s heartbreakingly brilliant. Of course, the soundtrack is equally stunning, featuring previous collaborators Air, My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain. As an added bonus, this release is pressed on violet vinyl.
Madonna – True Blue (Super Club Mix) and La Isla Bonita (Super Mix)
I cannot resist the Madonna RSD releases each year. Maybe it’s because they’re reproductions of the Japanese pressings, complete with obi strips, maybe it’s because they’re always pressed on gorgeous coloured vinyl (blue and green this year), maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner. Madonna, I’m mad on ‘er.
Our Girl – Live at St Pancras Old Church
Stranger Today was one of my favourite albums of 2018, so I was really excited to see that Our Girl are releasing a limited live album this year. I actually saw Our Girl live at Resident Music in Brighton when Stranger Today was released, and they’re scheduled to perform there again this Record Store Day, so I can vouch for them being a great live band. This release is pressed on clear vinyl.
Santigold – I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions
This summer-inspired mixtape is getting a physical release for the first time on coloured vinyl. I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions was such a brilliant release last year, featuring breezy reggae-inspired tracks like “Coo Coo Coo.” It was a collaboration between Santigold and Mixpak Records producer Dre Skull, and is made up of 10 tracks. I love how Record Store Day features records like this that might not have otherwise had a physical release, and allows us to own them on vinyl rather than being limited to digital.
Soccer Mommy – For Young Hearts
Soccer Mommy’s original bandcamp EP finally gets a physical release! Just like with the Santigold record, this is the kind of release that epitomises Record Store Day for me – previously digital-only records getting beautiful first pressings. They’re going all out for For Young Hearts too: the record is going to be pressed on “green smoke” vinyl, have a glitter coated jacket, and include a hand-numbered poster. Soccer Mommy’s debut LP, Clean, was released last year and I absolutely adore it, although I have to admit it’s still on my vinyl-to-buy wishlist! Soccer Mommy’s music is lo-fi, emotional and beautiful, with a refreshingly unique perspective.
As usual, I’m hoping to post up a video sharing my experiences this year and any releases I manage to find, so do keep a look out this weekend, and let me know what’s on your wishlist this year!
Hope you have a happy Record Store Day, however you choose to spend it!
You can check out some of my tips on how to get the most out of Record Store Day in my Record Store Day Survival Guide:
Want to see what previous Record Store Days have been like? Here are my previous hauls and vlogs about the last four years of RSD: