Classic - Ram by Paul McCartney: Being holed up in isolation isn't wholly bad and weird - it also means pottering around and tinkering with things. With 'Ram', Macca and Linda made the greatest Potting Shed Pop LP ever, with gorgeous half-finished sketches, knocked-together bangers, and a general air of mucking around at home. Right, time to stick Monkberry Moon on and get those shelves up.
What's so great about time in your living room - even when the government is forcing you to stay in - is dancing around on your own like an idiot. One of the great modern records for this is the wondrous '5' by Sault. Skuzzy basslines, smidges of Hi Life, buckets of funk and R&B. It has everything.
It might not be that old (2007) but this record - or anything by Murphy - should undoubtedly be a classic in any collection and I'll be saying "Roisin Murphy is underrated" until the day I'm senile. She's the Queen of New Disco and this double-LP emphasises what she does best; electronic pop heightened by notes of hot jazz, leaving a living-room-filler for you to coo over.
I'm desperate to get my hands on a physical copy of this, I'll be ordering it from an indie whilst in isolation. Ty Segal and Brian Chippendale's minds fuse together for Fungus II and, of course, out pours a sonic wonderland of experimental rock. The pair holed up together in Segal's recording studio in 2018 and put the complete LP out this year, it's already sold out in most record stores. It must be mine.
Classic - RIOT by Paramore: Undoubtedly the most important Power Pop/ Emo record released in 2007 or ever, I remember listening to this for the first time aged 11 and becoming fully sentient. Joyful, melancholic, sing-a-long bangers to dance around your room and feel misunderstood to.
New - Napoli Segreta Volume 1 compilation by V/A: Having waited months for this LP to arrive a few days into the lockdown, this 2018 Italo comp has already become the soundtrack to my bedroom escapism. Close your eyes and dream of sunnier climes and happier times, while listening to these ‘hidden gems from the bowels of Vesuvius’.
Classic - Journey in Satchidananda by Alice Coltrane: Seeing as we're not allowed to travel outside anymore, at least there are no restrictions on travelling inside. This is deeply spiritual stuff, it's as transcendent and zen as albums can be. It's also for experimental jazz weirdly accessible and beautiful, so stick it on and let it take you to a different place for a bit.
New - Satan Is Real Again by Country Teasers: I lied about this, it's already a classic but it's back on vinyl for the first time in decades! Ben Wallers is a genius and every new band you're into has been quietly ripping then off for some time. It's noisey, hilarious, bleak with a proper sense of evil running through it. I love this album as much as smoking and food, and after a few listens I hope you do too.
Classic - The View From This Tower by Faraquet: This record is very important to me. So important that I named a festival I used to run after a track from it (Carefully Planned). The album is full of musical contradictions, and I like to think it aligns with something deep in my soul.
New - Housework by Real Terms: I love this band and their new EP absolutely, finally showcases what they're all about. The artwork is beautiful, the production is great, the songs are perfect, and they're completely the loveliest guys too.
Classic - Nightingale by Gilbert Gil: Nightingale is such a dream - it was given to me many moons ago, by a friend who ended up being one of my greatest influences and I don't tell her this often enough! Brazilian magic at its best, produced by Sergio Mendes and with some unbelievable musicians on it. The whole record feels like the best moments of a holiday - just absolute warmth in every way... Brings back some happy memories and future trip goals for when all this has blown over! If a part of your body isn't moving to the track "Maracatu Atomico", then you're a first!
New - We're New Again by Gil Scott Heron & Makaya Mccraven: I've been so deeply back into Gil Scott Heron lately that this release felt like McCraven was psychic! This is truly the reimagining that this album deserved: sonically perfect, thoughtful arrangements and the message behind the entire concept feels empowered and refreshed rather than "remixed". One of my highlights of the year, honestly