Western Vinyl Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records
Formed in 1998, Texan imprint Western Vinyl have cast their net pretty wide. The label’s early years were characterised by brooding rock and singer-songwriter releases - records from Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Songs: Ohia, J. Tillman and Papa M take up some of the first Western catalogue numbers. However, the label also showed that they weren’t afraid to step outside of their comfort zone, dropping LPs from acts as diverse as avant-rockers Dirty Projectors, experimentalist/instrument builder Pierre Bastien and contemporary classical/post-minimalist composer Goldmund.
Recent times have seen Western Vinyl continue down these various paths. Their core of emotive balladry and heartland rock is exemplified by recent additions like Strands Of Oak; they have hosted several albums by the new-new age electronics artist Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith (including ‘EARS’, our album of the year for 2016); Goldmund remains a fixture, with 2018’s ‘Occasus’ his fifth full-length to be released on Western.
Whatever direction the label is pulling in at any given point, their output is always rich in harmony and feeling. Sounds may differ, but Western Vinyl’s commitment to stirring, emotionally honest music has been a key factor in making it one of the most respected indie labels of the 21st Century.