One of the best things about Record Store Day is its diversity. Scrolling through the list of this year’s releases, there’s everything from Joy Division to Kylie, and a wonderfully varied selection in-between from a soundscape composed by David Lynch for a Parisian art gallery to Nino Rota’s original soundtrack to Fellini’s Amarcord. With such a variety of releases to sift through, it’s difficult to choose favourites, but this year, five in particular have caught my eye (and ears).
First up are Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes) and Jon Hopkins, who teamed up for ‘Garden’s Heart’, a haunting and beautiful track released on 7” vinyl and limited to 900 copies. Khan’s ethereal vocals suit Hopkins’ trance-inducing electronica perfectly, and the track builds to a pretty and dream-like chorus.
Public Service Broadcasting also offer up new fare in the form of 7” Elfstedentocht Parts 1 & 2. The duo make for some pretty unique listening with their fusion of old clips from public service broadcasts layered with electro-folk. This record has the extra quirk of samples from commentary on the titular Dutch skating competition. Part one is somewhat heavier and clunkier than the band’s standard fare, but part two has bags of appeal, and is well worth a listen.
CHVRCHES’ Recover EP, is another noteworthy option, with each 12” record hand numbered and stamped, featuring a selection of previously released tracks and remixes. Saying that, it’s always nice to feel like artists are offering something totally fresh on RSD, and Drive By Truckers have risen to the challenge with their release, Dragon Pants EP, which features a selection of B-sides and outtakes from their new album, English Oceans. The Georgia-based five piece are a great example of perfectly executed contemporary folk-rock, and offer some of the most profound and interesting lyrics of the genre in recent years.
Lastly is Destoyer’s Kaputt, a repress of the critically acclaimed but often overlooked 2011 record. Combining ambient indie with elements of jazz and disco – with a bit of luck, this repress will remind listeners to give it a shot.