Another Record Store Day has come and gone. I didn’t bother lining up this year. And although I still want to support and “celebrate the culture of the independently owned record stores,” it still somehow feels already ruined. Vinyl, in particular, is starting to weigh me down (literally as well). I still very much enjoy the ownership of it in the context of physical media; otherwise, I wouldn’t have a dedicated section on this site showcasing vinyl collections, but something about it is beginning to feel strange. Did I tell you how when I found the Future Sound of London‘s last release for RSD, Rituals (2022), and gleefully ran home to play it on my Rega, I only found it to be finger-smudged and scratched? And I paid £40 to have that pleasure. Meanwhile, the legendary HMV is set to return to London, back to its flagship location on Oxford Street (originally opened in 1921), thanks to the “resurgence of vinyl.” Hmm. Perhaps it’s just another phase. For now, I’ve subscribed to Qobuz for a bit. Anyway, enough reflection on the state of the music industry – it’s bound to change again, no matter what. For now, here’s a list of fantastic albums that have come across my listening desk, which I hope you will pick up on any format of your liking!