The Beatles, Florence + The Machine, Friendly Fires and other big vinyl releases you need this week

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.

Friendly Fires – ‘Inflorescent’

NME say:

It’s been a long wait for fans for Friendly Fires’ third album, which arrives this week over a decade on from their debut and eight years since their second LP. “It was a ‘now or never’ moment,” frontman Ed MacFarlane told us last year. “I think if we left it any longer it would probably never have happened.” But make no mistake, this isn’t an ending. In fact, the band say they feel as invigorated as ever: “It doesn’t feel like it’s the last chapter of our band. With ‘Pala’, we left it on a high and we sort of disappeared, and then I feel like something else has to happen.” This time around, they’ve worked with the likes of James Ford and Disclosure, and incorporated hardcore and Brazilian disco influences. Jump in…

Norman Records say:

In the eight years after indie/dance band Friendly Fires’ album Pala, there was very little activity. Then suddenly they released a couple of singles and started playing live shows. The cat is now out of the bag and fans will be delighted to hear that album No.3, ‘Inflorescent’, is here. It was produced by the band and others including Disclosure. 

Florence + The Machine – ‘Lungs’ (10th Anniversary Edition)

NME say:

It’s been 10 years since Florence Welch brushed off those Kate Bush comparisons with ‘Lungs’, her debut album that saw her shoot to No.1 spot in the UK chart and spawn the still-great singles ‘Dog Days Are Over’ and ‘You’ve Got the Love’. Since then, she’s released three additional albums, turned to writing, become pretty much a fashion icon and headlined festivals as huge as Coachella and Glastonbury. Not bad going. Hark back to where it all started with this special celebratory release.

Norman Records say:

Does Florence And The Machine’s debut LP ‘Lungs’ hold up a decade on from its release? Only one way to find out. This new pressing has some new colours on the vinyl this time around. 

The Beatles – ‘Abbey Road’ 50th Anniversary Edition

NME say:

The Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ recently turned 50 and still sounds as groundbreaking and unrivalled as it did in 1969. There are plans to mark the milestone too, with a special anniversary reissue in September. Paul McCartney says of the re-release: “The Beatles recording journey had gone through many twists and turns, learning curves and thrilling rides. Here we were – still wondering at the magic of it all.” Giles Martin, son of ‘Fifth Beatles’ George, re-mixed the record and adds: “The magic comes from the hands playing the instruments, the blend of The Beatles’ voices, the beauty of the arrangements. Our quest is simply to ensure everything sounds as fresh and hits you as hard as it would have on the day it was recorded.”

Norman Records say:

Absolutely everything about The Beatles’ final album ‘Abbey Road’ screams ‘iconic’ – the much-parodied artwork, the second half’s famous song suite, the top class contributions from all of the Fab Four (yes, even Ringo’s ‘Octopus’s Garden’…). In 2019, it gets the 50th anniversary re-mastering treatment. With the new stereo mix handled by Giles Martin at the famous itself, this re-issue comes in: standard CD; double CD; single, double or triple vinyl; or a lavish 4xCD box-set with hardcover book and Blu-Ray. Various versions include outtakes and demos. 

Sleater-Kinney – ‘The Center Won’t Hold’

NME say:

Sleater-Kinney’s 10th album, ‘The Center Won’t Hold’ is their second since reforming and will be their last LP with drummer Janet Weiss, who recently parted ways with the group. Produced by St Vincent and partly inspired by Rihanna, the record is also a response to Trump’s America. As Carrie Brownstein recently explained to us: “Terror is all around us and there is a kind of loudness and a volume and protestation right now, but I think at the core of that is people who are depressed and despairing and worried. I think we wanted the politics on the record to take the form of a quiet rage and a reminder of the ability to heal… That to me felt like more the kind of record I wanted to make right now. That’s the kind of record I would want to hear.”

Norman Records say:

They came back and they stayed back. After their 10 years hiatus ended with 2015’s brilliant ‘No Cities to Love’, Sleater-Kinney kept writing together to create ‘The Center Won’t Hold’. The album was produced with great care by St. Vincent, and sees the band exploring personal themes the only way they know how. By being a very good rock band.

Ride – ‘This Is Not A Safe Place’

NME say:

Ride’s last album, 2017’s ‘Weather Diaries’ was their first record in 21 years. Luckily, we’ve only had to wait two years for its follow-up. The title of ‘This Is Not A Safe Place’ is apt, as we state in our review of the record, it “benefits from a wealth of creativity and experimentation… there’s plenty of the sort of dream-pop the band did so well so many years back… [but] after spending the last two decades of his career very much playing it safe, Bell is back in brave, progressive, creative territory.”

Norman Records say:

Probably one of the best reformations yet, Ride have been better than ever in recent years and this is the follow-up to the much loved ‘Weather Diaries’. Lead single ‘Future Love’ is a sparkling slice of upbeat shoegaze with bodes well for the rest of the album. They have proved once again their worth and the only question left is… hat or no hat? 

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – ‘Infest The Rats’ Nest’

NME say:

If King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard‘s last album ‘Fishing for Fishies’, released just back in April, was their “blues record”, then ‘Infest The Rats’ Nest’ is very much their “metal one”. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise either, as frontman Stu Mackenzie explains how he’s been drawn to the genre since a young age: “In year 4 there was an older kid who was into Rammstein. I made friends with him and we put together a performance at our school assembly where we headbanged to ‘Du Hast’. I got whiplash, which I thought was pretty cool. That was my introduction to heavy metal, and soon Rammstein led to Metallica, Metallica led to Slayer, Slayer led to Kreator and Sodom. The German bands really kicked my ass and scared the hell out of me too. Later on, when I picked up a guitar I realised that shit was too hard to play, so I got into rock ‘n’ roll and garage. That was liberating.” 

Norman Records say:

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are probably the most easily distracted band in the world. After having fun with microtones and boogie woogie on ‘Infest The Rats’ Nest’ they’ve turned to the darkside for a bit of good old fashioned thrash metal. Fair play to them, they’ve done a decent job of evoking the golden years of the likes of Metallica and Slayer. We wait with baited breath for their first opera.

The Murder Capital – ‘When I Have Fears’

NME say:

The Murder Capital are the latest in a thriving Irish scene that has brought us the likes of Fontaines DC, and their debut ‘When I Have Fears’ is a thoroughly vital listen. “Every corner of the punk landscape is explored on this rich, emotional debut album from the Dublin five-piece,” NME’s Will Richards writes in his review of the record. “For a rallying cry to those closest to you to stay united and support each other through the darkest times, it’s pretty much perfect.”

Norman Records say:

The Murder Capital are a punk/post-punk/art punk band from Dublin. Their lives shows are becoming the talk of the town for their dark, brutal, edge-of-the-seat thrill ride. Their sound will draw comparisons to classic bands such as Joy Division as well as newer bands like Shame and Savages. ‘When I Have Fears’ is their debut album and was produced by Flood, who is just the person you’d want to produce an album like this.

The Hold Steady – ‘Thrashing Thru The Passion’

NME say:

The Hold Steady may have been putting out records for the past 15 years, but frontman Craig Finn says that their seventh LP, ‘Thrashing Thru The Passion’, finds them in a particularly inspired mood, mostly brought on by the return of keyboardist Franz Nicolay, who previously parted ways with the group in 2010.  “I’ve been saying for a few years now—since Franz came back- that this six piece lineup of the Hold Steady is the best band we’ve ever been,” Finn says. “The new songs recorded by this version of the band are super exciting to us. It’s been a very fun and creative period for the Hold Steady.”

Norman Records say:

The Hold Steady have been making a slow, but… ahem… steady comeback recently. Their new album, ‘Thrashing Thru The Passion’, is the culmination of that steady comeback. It contains five songs recorded between 2017 and 2019 that have only been downloadable until now, and five brand new bar room bangers.

Blanck Mass – ‘Animated Violence Mild’

NME say:

‘Animated Violence Mild’, the new solo album from Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin John Power (aka Blanck Mass), was recorded in Edinburgh and has been described by the electronic musician himself as “the diary of a year of work steeped in honing craft, self-discovery, and grief…  grief, both for what I have lost personally, but also in a global sense, for what we as a species have lost and handed over to our blood-sucking counterpart, consumerism, only to be ravaged by it.” It’s out now via Sacred Bones.

Norman Records say:

Benjamin Power returns one more time as Blanck Mass with the enticingly titled ‘Animated Violence Mild’. Since making the switch from dense ambience to something more industrial after the Fuck Buttons man’s solo debut, each subsequent record has gotten more noisy, more intense, and more catchy, all at the same time. ‘Animated Violence Mild’ is no different, with Power reaching for sound as varied as black metal, hardcore, and europop.

Explosions In The Sky – ‘How Strange, Innocence’ (Anniversary Edition)

NME say:

When Texan post-rockers Explosions In The Sky recorded their debut album ‘How Strange, Innocence’ in the space of two days in January 2000, releasing it as a very limited run of 300 CD-Rs copies, they probably didn’t think that they would looking back upon the release almost two decades on. Having originally reissued the album in 2005 (saying at the time: “We’ve had a bit of a love/embarrassment relationship with the record. At certain points along the way several of us wanted to buy back all the copies and burn them”), they’re now giving the album another limited-edition, remastered and repackaged outing.

Norman Records say:

Recorded in the space of two days at the end of 1999, Texan post-rock heroes Explosions In The Sky made small but significant ripples in the underground scene with a limited CD run of their humble debut ‘How Strange, Innocence’. 20 years later, it eventually gets a thorough double-vinyl treatment, with beautiful etchings and inserts.