Every week we will review albums that sound great on vinyl. They are judged by our ears, minds, and quality, as subjective as that is. We collaborate with DJs on WUTK to ensure that our opinions are informed.
Vetiver - Tight Knit
Sub Pop all-stars Vetiver can do it all. Heavily touted by the likes of Devendra Banhart, CocoRosie and other freak folk American artists, they spin modern lullabies and contemporary folk songs that evoke the serene tranquility of a sloth napping with a slow loris. You don't know what a slow loris is? Look it up on YouTube, you'll be amazed. It's unfair to stereotype them as only music to nap to, considering upbeat tracks like "More of This" and—well, actually the album is mostly pretty relaxing. The title of the album is also spot on. Vetiver is able to maintain this swung kind of drum beat and strumming that really feels like they don't care if the music falls apart at any moment, but it never does. You're in for a treat if you've never heard them before.
Why Vinyl: Because of the nature of the medium, there is less distortion in midrange reproduction. That's a fancy way of saying that drums and vocals sound awesome on vinyl. Being a primarily folk band, one doesn't hear a lot of experimenting outside of guitars, drums and other instruments that sound very natural.
Listen if: You go climbing, own a hammock or are burnt out on Two Door Cinema Club.
Portugal. The Man - Censored Colors
I had some trouble warming up to Portugal. The Man. Maybe it was because they used to open for My Chemical Romance. Maybe it was the higher pitched male vocals. Maybe it was because I had no clue how AWESOME they were. After about two listens through "Censored Colors," it became one of my favorite albums of all time. I kid you not. This is their self-proclaimed tribute to the Beatles, ending in a three song "opera" that is one of the higher points of a PTM album in general. Invoking 60s psychadelic, pop, folk and indie rock, "Censored Colors" really serves as the best example of PTM's sound next to "Waiter: 'You Vultures!'" Even if you don't listen to the whole thing, listen to "Salt" and "Created." Also, "New Orleans" gets into their northwestern jangly rock roots and will definitely bring you back to the time they played at Bonnaroo for the first time.
Why Vinyl: PTM has their own record label that they release through, and it's a spirit of super DIY that should definitely be supported industry-wide by listeners, as it allows bands to consistently put out solid records, and always with accessories such as wheat pasting icons and limited edition options. Buying these kinds of records lets musicians know that good records are what listeners want to buy. Plus, they are far more groovy once their sound is laid down outside of digitization. You'll hear phrases from their basses that are completely different on record than how they sound on CD.
Listen if: You think Washington and Alaska are awesome states, enjoy things better when your friends make them, or think Death Cab needs to be more edgy.