David Ramirez is a singer-songwriter based in Austin, TX, whose rich baritone voice was described by the New York Times as full of ‘haggard loneliness’. This month, Ramirez delighted his fans by announcing that his 2012 album Apologies was being made available on vinyl for the very first time. The album was pressed on clear vinyl, limited to to 500 copies and sold as a direct-to-fan exclusive through his Spinshop. As we revealed at the end of 2016, at Topspin we’ve seen vinyl sales go from strength to strength in the past few years. So, where demand exists, pressing older releases on vinyl can be a great source of revenue which, as Ramirez explained in the Facebook post below, can help fund future projects.
Manchester 5-piece Dutch Uncles released their fifth album Big Balloon this month, to glowing reviews from the likes of Uncut, Dork and DIY. The album also reached number one on the Independent Album Breakers chart in the UK. The band offered D2F presale packages including clear vinyl, an exclusive t-shirt, postcards and, yes, a Big Balloon balloon, all embedded into their homepage alongside tickets for their upcoming tour dates. They also invited a small number of lucky fans to join them for a day of go-karting to celebrate the album’s release!
Canadian folk-pop singer Rose Cousins returned this month with the release of Natural Conclusion, her first album since 2012’s Juno Award-winning We Have Made A Spark. Tipped by The Guardian as one of ten Americana albums to look forward to in 2017, the album was recorded in Toronto with Grammy-winning producer Joe Henry. As a longtime independent artist, the album was released through Cousins’ own Old Farm Pony label, set up in 2006 to release her own work but now also home to fellow Canadians Fortunate Ones.
Virtuoso guitarist Joe Satriani frequently connects directly with his fans by offering VIP upgrade packages through Topspin for the majority of his live shows. These include a meet and greet, photo op, merch signing, plus a tour of his ‘guitar world’. This month was no different as he headed to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Thaland and Singapore, celebrating '30 years of mind-bending guitar daredevilry’…
— Joe Satriani (@chickenfootjoe)8 February 2017
received a Golden Globe nomination for his score for Arrival, though it was controversially deemed ineligible for the Oscars (for which he had been nominated for the previous two years) due to the film’s frequent use of a piece by Max Richter. This month, the composer made the otherwordly soundtrack for Arrival available through his webstore on double vinyl. We highly recommend checking out Jóhannsson discussing the composition and recording of the score on the excellent Song Exploder podcast: