Welcome to a premiere at Vinyl Fantasy Mag! For the first time we have not one, but two editions of the Vinyl of the Week. The simple reason being that I couldn’t really decide between the two albums. Since The Intersphere’s album is also very close in terms of the genre to the previous Vinyl of the Week by The Ocean, I have decided to also crown the truly outstanding second album by Arlo Parks. So, we have two completely different albums here, but both manage to captivate the listener in their own unique way.
Arlo Parks – My Soft Machine
With her debut album, the English singer-songwriter burst onto the musical landscape with force in 2021. Her pop-influenced mix of funk, soul and jazz clearly struck a chord with people affected by the pandemic. The album flew off the shelves at Dodo Beach record store after its release, which is by no means a given for a previously unknown artist.
A perfect record for a summer day
On her second album she doesn’t deviate much from the path she took on “Collapsed In Sunbeams.” Once again, the songs impress with their warmth and airy melodies. Listening to the 12 songs simply makes you feel comfortable, making it the perfect album for a cozy summer day in the park.
Nonetheless it is important to delve into the lyrics, as they deeply process emotions and sometimes don’t align with the sugary pop on the surface.
Colored vinyl and box set
In addition to the standard black vinyl, the album is also available as a limited indie exclusive on green vinyl. If that’s not enough, you can add a more comprehensive vinyl box set to your collection. The box set includes the album on transparent violet vinyl in a gatefold cover, along with a tote bag, friendship bracelet, A2 poster and a hand-signed A5 print.
The Intersphere is one of those bands that constantly surprises me as to why they haven’t become bigger and more well-known. After all “Wanderer” marks their sixth album overall. The band’s progressive rock sound has always been excellent. Somehow, I can’t shake the feeling that The Intersphere would be much larger if they hailed from the UK instead of Mannheim.
Prog rock with new elements
On their new album, they venture into new territories. Suddenly, their progressive alternative rock is infused with electronic and funk elements as well as rap-inspired vocal lines in certain parts. At times, it reminds me of Nothing But Thieves or Foals, in addition to Thrice or Biffy Clyro. Needless to say, the production is once again fantastic. This is a diverse album that demands to be listened to!
Colored vinyl and box set
It will probably not be that easy to buy this record in a store outside of germany, but you can order it online. If you simply want to own the album on LP, you can opt for the orange vinyl edition. There are no other color options available. However, there is also a vinyl box set available for purchase on the Odyssey Music Network label shop. This set includes the album in digipak CD format and on orange vinyl, along with a slipmat, artwork prints and a “surprise.” It is priced at €59.99.