By: JoAnn Snavely
I received my first record player on Christmas of 2017. With no idea where that $50 suitcase player would take me, I can genuinely say it has changed the course of my life. Music has become a primary factor in my life, from every aspect (writing, listening, live music) and it shows.
Since that destined day in 2017, I have gone through about 4 record players and amassed well over 100 vinyl records valued at a median price of $1.9k according to Discogs. In 2022 alone, I added over 50 vinyl to my collection and have spent well beyond $800 on vinyl and it’s usage (I did upgrade my record player, speaker system, and storage systems which are factored into that final cost), and as we arrive at the last articles of the year, I figured what better way to round out the year than to talk about my favorite vinyl purchases of the year.
If you’re unfamiliar with the silly little vinyl records that seem to have taken the music collecting world by storm, I would recommend checking out a piece I did at the Herald earlier this year in collaboration with Marlee Billiter titled “A Dummies Guide to Record Collecting” where we did a deep dive into everything from its history, its rise, where, and how to begin collecting.
Now, as I know what many of you are here for, let’s get started on my favorite vinyl purchases of this year, 2022.
Waiting to Spill – The Backseat Lovers (online exclusive green) 2022
The Backseat Lovers’ sophomore album, Waiting to Spill, was released in October of 2022, and with it, one of the prettiest vinyls I have ever owned was released. The gorgeous forest green record reflects everything I’ve ever wanted on vinyl. Aside from its pressing, it is one of my favorite releases of this year. America’s favorite mid-western band is back, and with a vengeance. Releasing some of the most heartbreaking songs I have ever listened to– I can’t get enough of it. Some of my favorite songs off this album are its lead single “Growing/Dying”, “Slowing Down”, and “Viciously Lonely.” This variant of the vinyl quickly sold out online and is available on Discogs for roughly $80.00. Although I must admit that is an expensive price to pay, luckily its standard black counterpart is still available online for $25.00!
Wallows Live at Third Man Records – Wallows (standard black) 2019
This vinyl is a live collection of songs that was released a while ago but has been a grail of mine FOR YEARS. It has been sold out since 2020 (and I have the deepest regrets for the amount of times I passed up the opportunity to purchase it), and since then, it always retailed WAY too high for me (I try to avoid spending above $40.00 on vinyl). After keeping it on my discogs watchlist for upwards of 6 months, I got lucky enough to find a copy for $35.00. Against my initial weariness of its price being so low, I bit the bullet and purchased it, and I am ever-so grateful that I did. I love this vinyl with everything in me;the LP itself is complete with all of my favorite songs (pre-2019) with singles like “Pulling Leaves Off Trees”— my all time favorite song– “Pleaser”, and songs from their Spring EP like “Ground” and “Let The Sun In.” Although this isn’t necessarily a 2022 release, it is undoubtedly one of my favorite purchases of the year and is one of my most prized possessions in regards to the entirety of my collection. It is completely sold out everywhere online, but can be found on Discogs for around $80.00.
Being Funny in a Foreign Language – The 1975 ( store exclusive blue and white splatter) 2022
October of this year was the GREATEST month as far as musical releases goes, we received some of the first albums post-COVID from coveted musicians like Arctic Monkeys, Taylor Swift, and The 1975. And even with that in perspective, The 1975’s newest album Being Funny in a Foreign Language is my favorite release of that historic month. I bought two physical copies of this album: a signed CD version and their online exclusive blue splatter. I must preface that the splatter of the vinyl was a little bit lackluster to what I had initially expected being more of a blue pressing with the occasional marble of white, but nonetheless it is gorgeous. The signed CD came with an insert signed in metallic sharpie by each member (which to me feels like the closest I’ll get to seeing them live as they haven’t come remotely close to NC in the past few years). Aside from the physical aspects of the album, it is an amazing album musically speaking. Some of my favorite songs off this album include “About You”, “Human Too”, “Wintering”, and “The 1975” which has single-handedly become the only song I listen to when writing. I had high expectations for this album. Being a fan since 2018, I got to witness the release of two albums prior: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships and the less-hailed underdog Notes On A Conditional Form. Both of these albums were pretty groundbreaking in regards to the sound of the band and this album circumvented any prior expectations. whether in vinyl form or not, this is not an album to miss. They do not have the variant I purchased available any more, but they have many others available including the clear exclusive off of their record label’s site for $25.00.
Indiana – Briston Maroney (pink) 2019
Early this March, Spotify recommended the song “Small Talk” to me in my Discover Weekly– a playlist curated to your tastes to help you find new music. From the first time I heard that song, I became infatuated with Maroney’s sound and the production within it. I proceeded to go down a rabbit hole of everything in Maroney’s discography. I must make it clear that his entire discography is stellar and I’ve even written about him multiple times in the past. In September, I decided to purchase both this EP and his debut Sunflower album. I was divided which of the two LP’s to select for this wrapped review, but I went with Indiana simply because of the fact that Indiana was my gateway into all things Briston Maroney. Not to mention, it is the most gorgeous pressing I have ever laid eyes on. It is a pretty accessible album that you can find on Briston Maroney’s webstore for $13.
Wet Leg – Wet Leg (standard black) 2022
Wet Leg is a five-piece British band that seems to have come to the forefront of the music industry this past year. They’ve become overnight sensations, even receiving FIVE Grammy nominations for the 2022 nomination season. This indie band created a sound extremely reminiscent of the early-2000s indie scene. Their debut self-titled album was released in April of 2022 and gained immediate commercial success. With their hit singles like “Chaise Lounge” and “Wet Dream” and their underspoken hits like “Being in Love” and “Supermarket”, it is truly a well-rounded album that is a great addition to any record collection. Being a newly nominated band, it is easy to anticipate that their music will grow in popularity which will directly affect their vinyl sales–positively of course. There are no exclusive pressings of this album available but you can buy the LP directly from their label’s website for $22.
Favourite Worst Nightmare – Arctic Monkeys (standard black) 2007
This is by far the oldest album on this list, but it is a classic in every sense of the word. Favourite Worst Nightmare is the iconic British band’s sophomore album that was released in April of 2007. This album immediately took over the industry and had been a staple in the genre since. I began collecting Arctic Monkeys on vinyl back in 2020, and this album was one of the final pieces in collecting their entire discography. I purchased four Arctic Monkeys vinyl this year, but the reason this record stood out so much is simply because this album features the song “Do Me A Favour.” Being one of my favorite songs of all time, this was a purchase I was ecstatic to make. This album also features their hits like “505”, “Fluorescent Adolescent” and another fan favorite “This House Is a Circus.” The critically acclaimed album was nominated for an NME, Brit, and World Music Award. This vinyl may be a bit hard to find (most of my favorite online record stores were sold out) but it is available on Disco Death for $34.00.
Singles Collection – Wallows (RSD exclusive blue) 2017-2020
This album was single-handedly the hardest vinyl I’ve ever gotten my hands on. Let me set the scene: on what was a typical Saturday in April, I lined up at local record store–Schoolkids Records–in Downtown Raleigh. I arrived about an hour or so before the store’s opening, and even called multiple times to see if it was in stock. all for the vinyl to be sold out by the time I arrived inside the store. I decided to move on to another store just for the last vinyl to be sold TO THE PERSON IN FRONT OF ME. That moment truly was my villain origin story. As you can imagine, I was distraught. I had called every record store in the southeast and was willing to travel states for this vinyl. After five long hours and many tears shed, I gave up. The resale for these albums were insanely high but I somehow convinced my mother to buy me it for a whopping $70; however, I didn’t give up there. Once I received the coveted album, I played it only to learn the vinyl I bought SKIPPED. As you can imagine, I was wildly upset. I luckily did manage to find the album for sale from one of my favorite online record stores (Spin Me Round) FOR RETAIL.
Regardless of the experience I had in purchasing this album, I’m so glad I did. I’ve been a fan of Wallows since the 8th grade. I became obsessed with their sound and the stories they told through their music. This album is a collection of all of the singles they’ve released over the past five years. It was an RSD exclusive and comes in a standard blue color. It is truly a stunning pressing and is the perfect edition to any indie-lover’s collection. It isn’t available on Wallows’ webstore but it is available on Spin Me Round’s store for $19.98!
Moss – Maya Hawke (UO exclusive translucent pink) 2022
Maya Hawke released her sophomore album in September of 2022 titled Moss. This is one of my favorite releases of 2022 that is composed of stellar story-telling and musical genius- I did a full breakdown on this album at the Herald-. This album features the leading singles “Sweet Tooth” and “Thérèse” but some of my personal favorites are “Driver” and “Bloomed Into Blue.” I purchased the Urban Outfitters exclusive which is a stunning transparent pink color. It came with a few other goodies like a poster and is genuinely one of the best experiences to play on vinyl. The UO pressing is sold out but it is available on her merch site in a translucent orange shade for $30.
As we move into the New Year, I look forward to growing my collection and adding all the new music 2023 has in store.