Our favourite vinyl releases this week

By in Features





Essential weekend listening.

This week’s rundown is by VF’s Kelly Doherty & Becky Rogers, and contributors Annabelle Van Dort, Emily Hill and James Hammond.

Various Artists

Eccentric Soul: The Saadia Label

(Numero Group)


Arriving to mark the 20th anniversary of Numero Group’s Eccentric Soul series, this collection sets its focus on the Saadia label and the Miami soul sound of the late ‘60s. With Saadia founded by Frank Williams following the collapse of the Deep City label, its highly sought-after run of 7” singles are condensed on this suitably soulful and funky set including the likes of Pearl Dowell, Joey Gilmore, Robert Moore, and Frank Williams himself on songwriting duties..–JH

Lou Reed

Hudson River Wind Meditations

(Light In The Attic)


For the second instalment in their Lou Reed Archive series, Light in the Attic presents the reissue of Lou Reed’s spellbinding final solo album, Hudson River Wind Meditations, now available on vinyl for the first time. Originally released on CD in 2007, Hudson River Wind Meditations is Reed’s foray into new-age music, composing an expansive suite of ambient drones intended by Reed as a ‘facilitator’ to his tai-chi and meditation practices. Across the 67-minute run time, droning feedback harmonics rise and fall like a cyclical, meditative breath, finding renewal in repetition like the collective hum of a tai-chi practice.–AVD

Marika Hackman

Big Sigh



Marika Hackman’s first album in five years bridges the gap between radio-ready indie and navel-gazing introspection. Big Sigh is filled with shrewd, deadpan lyricism, reflecting upon the stresses of being in your 20s. Alternately self-admonishing and astutely aware of how hard it is to live well, Hackman’s lyrics take centre stage against a backdrop of dreamy, downbeat indie rock textures. There are plenty of hooks here to trouble the radio waves (“No Caffeine” is a great pop single) but enough poetic specificity to feel lived in and authentic. Hackman’s best work yet.–KD

Bill Ryder Jones

Iechyd Da



Iechyd Da, the self-produced fifth solo album from the Merseyside singer-songwriter and ex-Coral co-founder Bill Ryder Jones, is an endearingly personal collection of songs littered with everyday epiphanies that help to keep the darkness at bay. In his emotional candour, Bill Ryder Jones crafts a multifaceted record, uplifting and optimistic but grounded in a sense of melancholy for what is lost. Full of soaring, cathartic choruses (“This Can’t Go On”), warped, wistful Gal Costa samples (“I Know That It’s Like This”) and the innocent joys of a children’s choir (“It’s Today Again”), Iechyd Da combines Ryder Jones’s relentlessly reflective lyricism with cinematic and dynamic arrangements, imbuing his narratives of heartbreak and healing with a heavenly sweetness.–AVD

Ron Morelli

Rhythm Master



Ron Morelli, aka the Rhythm Master, aka L.I.E.S head honcho, returns to the label to bring in the new year with his aptly titled EP Rhythm Master. Morelli brings together his two musical directorial approaches. The stripped-back jacking trax that we have come to associate with the producer are present, as is a new approach with a warmer romantic feel, bringing to light that classic raw-disco house energy that we saw him debut on his 2023 Heart Stopper album.–EH

Sombat Simla

Master of Bamboo Mouth Organ – Isan, Thailand

(Black Truffle)


The latest LP from the Black Truffle imprint takes us to Isan, Thailand and shows two sides of Sombat Simla’s masterful approach to a bamboo mouth organ known as the khene. Opener “Line Rod Fai” finds Simla in situ in the Isan countryside, playing solo khene and showing his unique range with the instrument as he brilliantly mimics a train journey–vendor calls, engine and railway track sounds included. From this focus on solo work, the flipside is recorded in a cattle shed with Simla’s khene alongside the percussion of Mali Moodsanee and Pattardon Ekchatree as they work through a set of Molam folk songs. As a whole, these ten tracks give clear demonstration as to why Simla is known as ‘the god of khene’.–JH

Cocteau Twins

Milk & Kisses

(Proper Records)


Over the last year or so there have been abundant reissues of iconic dream pop albums via labels such as 4AD and Proper Records. Landing this week is the classic final album from the cult Scottish band Cocteau Twins, whose ethereal yet timeless sound has hypnotised listeners from their inception in 1979. Initially not received well by contemporary reviewers of the late ’90s, the album has been remastered and presented in its finest form; it is a fond reminder of an excellent era of music and the power this style of music holds in fans’ hearts.–EH

East Village

Drop Out

(Heavenly Recordings)


Heavenly Recordings is kicking off 2024 by celebrating the 30th birthday of East Village’s ‘90s classic, Drop Out, with a much-needed vinyl reissue. The genius of Drop Out passed many by, but its cult stature is well deserved. Sitting adjacent to The Byrds’ free-rolling folk-pop, it quickly intertwines itself with the freakbeat sensibilities and hardier garage rock of the time, while maintaining the ‘60s psych-pop warmth with ease. A timeless classic that is essential in any collection.–BR

Kali Uchis




Kali Uchis rapidly releases the successor to last year’s excellent Red Moon In Venus. A predominantly Spanish language album (her second, following 2020’s Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios)), Orquídeas is a reasonable departure from its predecessor. While the dreamy, sultry textures remain, strains of cumbia and reggaeton persist throughout, making for a more club-ready energy. Full of seductive, melodramatic tales of sex and love, Orquídeas is a soundtrack for the lovers and the lovelorn. Uchis’ pop sensibilities lend proceedings an early-year hit potential on this beautifully rendered portrait of romance in both its peaks and valleys. –KD

Folly Group

Down There!

(So Young Records)


East London’s Folly Group have done what many have promised but failed with their debut album Down There!, and achieved true post-punk subversion. Accept the invitation into their chaotic arsenal of dub, Afro-Cuban, trip-hop and, of-course, post-punk, as they cross rock heaviness and erratic electronica with the playfulness of dance music. Maximalism is the word here. Each layer of instrumentation, from fire extinguishers-turned-percussion to expert guitar spikes, is mapped out so cohesively that each moment holds itself and results in a tirade of experimental richness. An exciting debut for a group already ahead of their time.–BR