Vinyl record pressing in the US have mostly been resurfacing thanks to the rock music genre. Since 2006, custom vinyl pressing for rock bands have steadily gone up and up do to the increasing demand of indie rock bands to release small run vinyl record albums. And now, artists from other genres are also releasing collector’s edition vinyl.
Since the year is almost ending, we commemorate this article to indie rock bands who have helped lay the foundation of the vinyl record comeback.
Without further ado, I present to you, the top ten indie rock bands who’ve released vinyl LPs this year, 2021.
#1 FOO FIGHTERS – MEDICINE AT MIDNIGHT
Medicine at Midnight is the 10th studio album by award-winning American rock band Foo Fighters. The album is an upbeat song that showcases the band’s core musical element, Nineties alt-rock sound. The vinyl version of the album, though cheaper and plainer than most, is something you definitely need to get your hands on.
The album is a mixture of the band’s music elements; we have its title track, with its funky disco loops mixed together with acoustic guitar, and a ballad track entitled “Chasing Birds”. All 9 songs of the album were pressed on standard black 140g 12-inch vinyl records. These records were placed into single vinyl jackets printed with the awesome eye artwork.
#2 ADULT MOM – DRIVER
Adult Mom’s Driver album was released on March 5, 2021 and had its first custom vinyl record pressing for 1020 copies (419 gold and 601 red copies. This album may be the first of its kind from Adult Mom’s, thanks to the band’s singer-songwriter member, Stevie Knipe, for it deviated from the usual spare bedroom recording feel. It instead feels like a bright themed album that showcases an early twenties’ journey with all its ups and downs.
Driver has two versions of custom vinyl records one with a metallic gold color, while the other is colored red with black smokes designed on it. The custom vinyl records are housed by single vinyl jackets that are printed with the official album cover. It showcases two of the members of the band, Stevie Knipe and Olivia Battell who’s in charge of the drums, sitting inside the driver’s seat and on the hood of a car.
#3 JAPANESE BREAKFAST – JUBILEE
“After spending the last five years writing about grief, I wanted our follow up to be about joy”, said Japanese Breakfast’s Korean-American band leader, Michelle Zauner. Their latest studio album from Dead Oceans is the first one to reflect feelings of happiness and ecstacy.
It can clearly be seen on the vinyl record album they released as well as with the title of the album itself. The word jubilee means a celebration or festival of some sort. Since it’s happy themed, the vinyl album has a yellow color tone. All 10 tracks of the album are pressed on clear custom vinyl records with yellow swirls which are placed inside single vinyl jackets printed with an image of Zauner in yellow dress amongst hanged tomato fruits.
#4 WEEZER – OK HUMAN
OK Human is Weezer’s fourteenth studio album released earlier this year. It is an album that gives a nod to the technophobic future-trip album “OK Computer” by Radiohead. This time, Cuomo had flowery string arrangements instead of the band’s usual loud guitars. The album consists of 12 tracks and had it pressed onto clear custom vinyl records with streaked designs originating from the center of the record. It is inserted into single sleeve vinyl jackets carrying a very intricate artwork that relays Cuomo’s message of humans’ superficial connection with one another.
# 5 DINOSAUR JR – SWEEP IT INTO SPACE
Sweep It Into Space is the fifth studio album after the original band members’ regrouping in 2005. It is the twelfth studio album overall and was released on April 23, 2021. Ten tracks on this album were written by the band’s frontman J Mascis, and two were from the band’s bass and vocals, Lou Barlow, one of which being the pre-released folk-rock pastorale single “Garden”.
All 12 tracks were pressed on to limited edition violet custom vinyl records which are housed inside single vinyl jackets. The design on the front cover of the jacket is something you would have to think over. It is a very vague artwork that looks like a bird, a mask, and even a human brain.
#6 REMEMBER SPORTS – LIKE A STONE
Like a Stone is another album in Remember Sports’ chronicle of albums that talk of nostalgia, aging, and the aftermath of a heartbreak. Thanks to the mastermind of it all, lead singer-songwriter Carmen Perry, we get to have free heart meditations. The 12-tracked album was released on vinyl records and includes 12-inch vinyl records on single sleeved vinyl jackets. There are two design versions of the album, one is yellow colored, while the other is an alternate color of red and yellow.
#7 EVANESCENCE – THE BITTER TRUTH
Evanescence’ Amy Lee is truly a force to be reckoned with when she showed up in the middle of the 2000’s in the then male-dominated world of rock music. Her vocal power is unmatched and even though the band toned down that rock spirit for their 2017 album Synthesis, Lee has showcased her strong vocals and charisma again on their latest 2021 album The Bitter Truth.
The album includes 12 mind-blowing tracks that were pressed on clear 12-inch vinyl records with a circular pill at the center label. In line with the album’s title, The Bitter Truth, the band thought of associating the title to the well known phrase bitter pill.
#8 THE HOLD STEADY – OPEN DOOR POLICY
Open Door Policy is The Hold Steady’s eighth studio album and is the follow up to the 2019 album, Thrashing Thru The Passion. The album was a commercial success as it peaked at number 48 on Billboard’s Top Rock Album. Custom vinyl record pressing was done for this album’s “Ten Bands One Cause” version. All 11 tracks of it are pressed on clear pink custom vinyl records which are packaged into single sleeved vinyl jackets.
#9 BLACK MIDI – CAVALCADE
The Japanese music genre inspired rock band, Black Midi, released their second studio album, Cavalcade, last May 26, 2021. It followed their acclaimed debut album, Schlagenheim, released in 2019. Cavalcade is an unnerving and surreal album that fans who do not prefer screeching violins and prog technicality would surely love. The album that gives you a glimpse of hell is one that was pressed on vinyl records. It had 8 songs pressed onto black 12-inch vinyl records kept inside a single vinyl jacket printed with an overly abstract artwork.
#10 CLOUD NOTHINGS – THE SHADOW I REMEMBER
Cloud Nothings’ founder, singer-songwriter Dylan Baldi, served yet another masterpiece for their listeners. The Shadow I Remember was released last February 26, 2021 with three pre-released singles, namely: “Am I Something” released on October 13, 2020, “The Spirit Of” released on November 17, 2020, and “Nothing Without You” released on February 2, 2021.
The album was pressed onto spectral light whirl design custom vinyl records and was housed by a single vinyl jacket. The vinyl album also includes a digital download card as well as unlimited streaming of the album through the Bandcamp app.
Are you a fan of indie rock bands?
What albums have you listened to or have bought a vinyl album of among these?
The bands included above are one of the best, so no matter what you choose to have I’m sure it’ll be worth it.
Long live vinyl records!