This week’s biggest vinyl releases to buy and pre-order: Nas, Sonic Youth, The Modern Lovers and more

You'll want these records in your collection...

In this fast-paced musical landscape, where it’s so easy to simply put a playlist on shuffle, nothing compares to putting a record on, sitting back and enjoying all it has to offer in full (or at least until you have get up again to flip it over).

Every week, NME will round up the best vinyl releases available to buy or pre-order. Check out the best from this week below.

Nas – ‘Illmatic’

NME say:

With ‘Illmatic’, Nas showcased it all: vivid lyrics, timeless production and tunes to boot. 25 years on now, it still stands as one of the truly great rap records. As our review put it at the time: “Nas’ upbringing oozes from every pore of the music. This is the true voice of where Nas comes from, set to 40 minute of rhythmic perfection.”

Norman Records say:

Illmatic was the debut album from New York rapper, Nas. Upon its original release in 1994, when Nas was just 20 years old, East Coast hip-hop was losing its identity. Illmatic, with tracks like N.Y. State Of Mind, gave the genre’s birthplace a much needed shot in the arm.

Sonic Youth – ‘Battery Park, NYC: July 4th 2008’

NME say:

Although they’re responsible for some stellar records, Sonic Youth’s wild card appeal has always been in their live performances. The bizarre guitar tunings, the spontaneous freak-outs, the sheer unwieldiness of it all. This record collects recordings from a 2008 hometown performance on Independence Day from you to witness in all its glory.

Norman Records say:

Hear Sonic Youth in the twilight of their great and mighty career, performing live at New York’s Battery Park on the Fourth of July 2008 (USA! USA!). This storming and comprehensive live recording was previously only available with special pre-orders of The Eternal, but is now readily available, and on tasty vinyl too, Thanks Matador.

65daysofstatic – ‘No Man’s Sky: Music For An Infinite Universe’

NME say:

The music of 65daysofstatic has always sounded vast and out of this world, so who better to soundtrack a video game about infinite universes than the Sheffield post-rockers themselves? Despite much hype, upon its release in 2016 our resident gamer Mark Beaumont concluded that it was “a triumph of scope and ambition”. With 18 quintillion planets on offer, and with instalments of the game still coming out, there’s plenty to explore and 65daysofstatic’s soundscapes offer a perfect soundtrack to accompany that heady voyage.

Norman Records say:

Epic game No Man’s Sky is part space opera, part galactic filibuster, offering an endlessly generative online universe for you to travel around — in which the designers have claimed you will never meet a fellow traveller. Supplying the soundtrack to this infinite labour of love? 65daysofstatic, of course. They used new programmes to create a supplementary generative soundtrack for the game. It’s just like the old saying goes: in space… there are post-rock bands.

The Modern Lovers – ‘The Modern Lovers’

NME say:

Despite his status as something of a cult figure, Jonathan Richman isn’t quite as widely revered as many of his ardent fans would argue that he deserves to be. His band The Modern Lovers influenced the likes of The Strokes to The White Stripes, while everyone from David Bowie and Iggy Pop to the Sex Pistols and Echo & the Bunnymen have covered their songs. There aren’t many better references than that. The proto-punk group’s seminal 1976 debut is a great starting point.

The Divine Comedy – ‘Office Politics’

NME say:

Offices are rich with some proper characters, aren’t they? David Brent, Ron Swanson, Maurice Moss, Dilbert – the list goes on. And The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon digs deep into the world of work for his band’s first record in three years. “I do try to make normal records,” he says. ”But it always seems to wander off into odd territories.” Just like jobs around the country are being outsourced to our computer counterparts, Hannon embraces machines on the LP too, explaining:  “It has synthesizers. And songs about synthesizers… But don’t panic. It also has guitars, orchestras, accordions, and songs about love and greed.”

Norman Records say:

Ever the master of wry observation and pat humour about everyday life, even as he approaches the fourth decade of his career, veteran songwriter Neil Hannon rolls out the 12th the Divine Comedy album, Office Politics. This time, however, Hannon is apparently changing up the chamber-pop formula by introducing synthesisers… stay tuned!

Various – ‘Twenty Years Of Moshi Moshi’

NME say:

Over 20 years, Moshi Moshi has boasted an impressive roster, releasing music from the likes of Florence and the Machine, Lykke Li, Friendly Fires, Hot Chip,  and more. This 3xLP compilation shows both the diverse nature of the label’s tastes but also its undoubted influence on the indie and pop scenes as a whole. 

Norman Records say:

It only takes a glance at the tracklisting for this 3xLP compilation to realise just how many great careers that Moshi Moshi has helped to launch over its 20-year existence. Contains early cuts from veterans like Friendly Fires, Florence + The Machine and Hot Chip to more cult concerns such as Lykke Li, The Drums and Late Of The Pier.

Froth – ‘Duress’

NME say:

As far as song inspiration goes, it’s going to take a lot to beat the story behind the opening track from ‘Duress’, the new album from noisy LA trio Froth. “This song is about a guy who listened to the Yanny/Laurel thing and he can only hear Laurel,” the band say of opening ‘Laurel’. “He’s really passionate about Laurel being the correct pronunciation to the point where he will die before admitting otherwise. In the end, he reveals that he loves his girlfriend more than he loves the correct pronunciation of ‘Laurel/Yanny’.” With song names like ‘John Peel Slowly’ and ‘Department Head’, we expect the rest of the album to be equally as bizarre.

Norman Records say:

LA’s Froth are back after two years away with their fourth album, Duress. Two years is hardly a long time to be away, but we’re glad they’re back. The album addresses such hot issues as the Yanny/Laurel debate. Their off-kilter shoegaze, psych, post-punk, slacker sound is all in check, which is the main thing, like. On Wichita.

Colin Potter – ‘Here’

NME say:

Colin Potter’s 1981 electronic album ‘Here’ was only previously released on cassette, but now gets a vinyl reissue along with a cache of bonus material and new sleeve art. Potter says: ““’Here’ marked a move away from some of the more song-orientated music I had been making up to then, towards purely instrumental tracks… I describe it as ‘rural electronic music’ which was to some extent a reflection of my life in a small village in North Yorkshire. Listening back to it now, I can’t figure out how I managed to do it with just a 4 track recorder.”

Norman Records say:

A first-time vinyl re-issue for an album that was previously released only on cassette way back in 1981, Colin Potter’s DIY electronica album Here is now blown up to a double-LP set that includes a veritable bonanza of unreleased material and with new sleeve art from original designer Jonathan Coleclough.

Plaid – ‘Polymer’

NME say:

For their 10th album, Warp stalwarts Plaid take inspiration from some very serious eco issues, specifically “the problems and benefits of polymers” and “the natural versus the synthetic, silk and silicone, the significant effect they have on our lives”. We’re interested to hear how these themes bleeds into their brand of head-spinning electronica.

Norman Records say:

It’s album ten in the bag for Warp veterans Plaid. Another fine set of energetic and melodic breakbeats, no doubt, although this one seems a bit darker than usual. The duo uses the triple-theme of “polyphony, pollution and politics” to springboard into varying levels of charm and unease. Polymer may also have taken its name from the legendary record label who released Spinal Tap’s Smell the Glove.