Vinyl Me, What? Vinyl Me, Please!!
Good things come in 12 inch packages. Delivering limited edition pressings of new and classic albums directly to your doorstep, Vinyl Me, Please operates under a simple philosophy: The Album Lives. With a carefully curated catalog of new and hard to find releases, the subscription service is more than just a record club…it’s a lifestyle choice for folks who wish Record Store Day could happen every month. In their living room.
Here’s how it works. You send Vinyl Me, Please some of your hard-earned money (plans start at $25/month) and they send you one meticulously selected album worthy of your time and attention. Easy, right? Each custom pressing (often on colored vinyl!) also comes with special features like original artwork and even a recipe for a companion cocktail. Best of all, you get access to the VMP online store. That means you’ll have a chance to grab a copy of previous VMP selections from the archives – including September’s reissue of The Notorious B.I.G.’s seminal hip hop album Ready to Die – not to mention a bevy of rare and exclusive releases.
The October store is now open. And there are some serious must-have selections available for both VMP members and casual visitors. Like that ‘Live At The Warfield 1997’ release from ‘low rock’ maestros Morphine, or the 20th anniversary reissue of Under the Western Freeway from lo-fi icons Grandaddy (ltd to 2,000 copies on blue & grey vinyl). The store is featuring funky new releases from Beck (Colors deluxe edition on red wax) and Bootsy Collins (World Wide Funk on splatter-colored discs) as well. Indie rock fans will definitely want to check out Cry Cry Cry (which is the first new Wolf Parade album in 11 years). And John Carpenter’s Anthology: Movie Themes 1974 – 1998 is a must own for any horror movie fan … not to mention fans of the current ‘synthwave’ movement.
There’s more. A lot more. While the store is now open to the public, many of VMP’s more exciting selections are only available to members. So you’ll have to sign up if you wanna get your mits on them. If you’re peckish about relinquishing control of your record collection over to complete strangers, know that VMP’s Swaps Program is in full effect. That means you can flip any VMP pick you don’t like for a past AOM that’s a little more your speed. My advice? Don’t overthink it. Do yourself a favor and sign up today.
So, what’s in this month’s box? Get ready to do a little bit of soul-searching with the esoteric, introspective grooves of Moses Sumney’s Aromanticism.
For the Love of Music, Please DO NOT BEND
There’s a moment in Todd Haynes’ magnificent 2015 drama Carol where the titular character gazes with a genuine sense of wonder at her would be lover and says, “What a strange girl you are. Flung out of space.” That same sentiment will likely be spinning through the heads of anyone who sits down to listen to Moses Sumney’s ethereal debut album Aromanticism. Unraveling over 11 sparse but sumptuous tracks and an almost too brief 34 minutes, Aromanticism mines elements of several seemingly disparate styles of music – not to mention the darker, sexier corners of Sumney’s spirit – to deliver the most vivid, intimate, and wildly adventurous listening experience you’re likely to find this year.
Normally, we’d take a few moments here to guide you on a short tour of that experience, but we’re not going to do that this month. What can we say except that, sometimes words simply cannot capture all the emotion an album is capable of drawing on. What we will say is that Aromanticism isn’t so much an album more than it is a feeling. One that shifts and spins and swirls with a giddy, introspective abandon. And we can tell you that Sumney himself is the only capable guide. From one track to the next, his Aromanticism plays as a soulful exploration of intimacy and loneliness … but it isn’t quite soul music. It teeters on reflective freak-folk, but it’s far from folky. It’s tells intricate stories, but it never feels like spoken word. It feels improvisational, but you’d never call it jazzy.
In an album that poses so many styles and questions, the one question that kept popping up was this, ‘what style of music is Aromanticism?’ Truth is, we have no idea. It’s almost impossible to lump Aromanticism into any single genre. We’d like to call it ‘intergalactic, psychosomatic, folkadelic soul’ music, but that would be inventing an entirely new realm of music. Then again, that may be exactly what Moses Sumney has done with Aromanticism. It’s a strange, wondrous album … seemingly flung out of space. It’s an album you need to experience for yourself. And one that’s likely live on your turntable for the foreseeable future.
Look, every album cover has some specific meaning toward the music inside. But we don’t always know what that meaning is. I could wager a few guesses about Aromanticism, but I’d rather you just marvel at its beauty and bring your own meaning to the work. Just like the music itself.
But What’s in the Box!?
Ok, let’s get into that box already. But first, be sure to note the all-important information on this little sticker.
The first thing you’ll dig out of that box is this bit of poetic rambling from Tyler Barstow (AKA – poet laureate and co-founder of Vinyl Me, Please).
Before you move along, be sure to check the bottom corner so you can personally thank VMP staffer who packed your box. Thanks, CO!
And be sure you flip that insert, ’cause there’s a recipe for Aromanticism‘s companion cocktail on the back. I’m not a big Hennessy fan. And I’m not generally a fan of any sort of mule or mule-inspired beverage. But for some reason the ‘Hennessy Mule’ sounds pretty tasty.
A little more digging will turn up this gorgeous, 12″x 12″ sketch work from Australian artist Jonathan Zawada.
Whatever you do, don’t flip past this vital little insert detailing some of the sexier releases hitting the VMP Store for October. Yep, limited copies of Willie Nelson and Desmond Dekker releases available. Take my money now.
Keep digging, ’cause there’s a super secret 7″ buried in that box, and you really do not want to miss it. We’re still not entirely sure who it is, but we’ll be visiting the VMP Member’s Forum asap to find out. Didn’t we mention that Team VMP gives out a ton of freebies? They do.
There’s a digital download code tucked away in there too. Don’t just toss that code aside, ’cause we’re guessing you’ll want Aromanticism in your car and/or headphones on morning commutes through the cold fall/winter days ahead. And possibly for spring and summer too.
And all of that before we even get into that record sleeve! Before we do, be sure to take a moment to appreciate this stunning bit of photography inside of the gatefold.
Now, what’s in that sleeve? Well, if you’re digging on Aromanticism‘s artwork – and you should be – you’re probably gonna flip for the photography inside of this 16-page lyric book.
Not to mention this exclusive, embossed art print.
I know, it’s all a bit overwhelming this month, but don’t forget there’s actually a record in that box as well. And if you can believe it, that inner dust sleeve is also a work of art.
What about the record inside? You guessed it … another legit work of art.
And it’s totally gonna class up your deck.
How’s it sound? Like waking up underwater and not even worrying about whether you can breathe or not because you have words in your head and music in your heart. And somehow you know that the music they spawn will be enough to keep you going until you find some air to breathe.
Give It a Spin
To love music is to revel in the spirit of discovery. Moses Sumney is not an artist that many people are overly familiar with. Nor is Aromanticism an album that the average Joe was particularly excited about hearing … let alone owning on vinyl. But you’ll know about five minutes into this album that you’re discovering something wholly unique. That you’re hearing a sound you’ve never heard before. Something dramatic and soulful and playful and sexy. Aromanticism is all of those things … and so much more. Thanks to Vinyl Me, Please for helping us discover Moses Sumney. And for making every new month another musical adventure.
A big THANK YOU to our friends at Vinyl Me, Please for sponsoring this subscription. Don’t forget to check out the official Vinyl Me, Please website and sign up to get some choice wax delivered right to your door each month! Just FYI – November is shaping up to be another adventure when VMP sends St. Vincent’s Masseducation our way. Cannot wait to give that crunchy treat a spin! See you then!