It’s not often we give shout-outs for things like this, but as champions of both vinyl and new music, we couldn’t pass on doing a little review and recommendation of a fantastic new scheme, Flying Vinyl.
Thanks to the likes of Record Store Day and music fans rediscovering the beauty and joy of music on wax – a form that looked to be on its way out – vinyl sales hit an 18-year high this Christmas, accounting for £20m of the record industry’s revenues in 2014, up from just £3m three years before. This incredible rise in sales has led to, and to an extent, has been led by, a new generation of vinyl lovers who are keen to own a physical copy of their purchase – something they can value and keep hold of, rather than a simple download. Labels have also been clever to make themselves attractive to younger customers, by keeping the vinyl prices reasonable and often offering a download to accompany the piece, so that the music can be enjoyed on the go, with the record dominating home listening.
What’s more, the rise in vinyl sales has seen a steady income and customer increase for our much-loved, local record shops. Much like vinyls, communities have seen many wonderful stores lose their grip on regular sales and punters, but with a new found love of the form, there has also been a resurgence of respect for the record shop – with customers predominantly choosing to buy from the shelves rather than online through the likes of Amazon, etc. So when we first came across Flying Vinyl, we did approach with caution, with initial concerns that this could potentially take sales from the store down the road. However, we soon came to realise that there is much more to gain from this fantastic setup than to lose.
To get the basics out of the way, Flying Vinyl send out a monthly package of at least five 7″ records (one coloured) with two tracks from each artist, exclusively pressed to vinyl. The beautifully-designed box also contains an information book, detailing news about the chosen artists, as well as special pieces of merchandise, such as an exclusive lyric sheet or art print. Each box costs £20 with free UK P&P, or you can signup for a yearly subscription of £216, making a saving of £24.
The best thing about the whole approach however, is the choice of artists. Agreeably, £20 is a fairly large amount of money, particularly in this day and age, to risk paying towards music you may not be familiar with or potentially be too keen on. Nonetheless, Flying Vinyl are worth putting your faith in. Aside from the fact that you’re receiving vinyl, well-designed packaging and beautiful extras, you are also receiving eclectic exclusives from carefully picked acts that could well be future stars. This brings the joy of discovering new artists to a brand new level, giving you the opportunity to hear tracks/records that you may not usually pick-up in a record shop, (but could result in future purchases from your local store, which is win-win!) as well helping champion new music and artists in a wonderful new way.
This week, we received our first package (Flying Vinyl’s second of the subscription), which offered us five beautiful vinyls as part of the July ‘festival orientated’ edition, along with a lovingly-written booklet and a stunning lyric sheet from a TFFT favourite – Eaves. Alongside the Leeds-based solo man, we also received double tracks from swooning Toronto-duo Moon King, alt-rockers and recent Johnny Marr support act Kagoule, the upbeat indie act Idle Frets, and a beautiful clear-coloured vinyl from the incredible Meadowlark, who recently smashed the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury.
As you can see, not every act is right up our folky street, but this is what it’s all about – we’ve discovered a couple of acts that weren’t on our radar, and listened to (and enjoyed!) music that we may not have picked up on. All in all, it’s a pretty splendid setup and in our opinion, as long as Flying Vinyl continue to push acts of this quality on a regular basis, we cannot recommend this enough. Though their tagline is ‘For Music Connoisseurs’, we feel that this subscription service is for anyone willing to give vinyl and new artists a bit of their ear-time!
You can read more information and sign up to Flying Vinyl, by visiting www.flyingvinyl.co.uk