With all of the ways vinyl has blown up over the last eight years, one of the most interesting segments of the market to watch have been the vinyl subscription services. I’ve been a member of a few different clubs over the years; including a 5 year subscription to Vinyl Me, Please. When I first joined in 2016, it was one of only a few options out there to have vinyl delivered to your door on a monthly basis. Since then, the number of companies, record labels, and record stores offering monthly vinyl subscriptions has exploded.
With all the different options now, it can be hard to decide which subscriptions are worth checking out. Many cater to different genres, and most provide a way to discover a new artist each month. However, one of the most unique vinyl clubs I’ve come across is Vinyl Moon, which ships one-of-a-kind monthly vinyl packages featuring accomplished visual artists and bands from around the world on every release.
The experience created through the music and packaging definitely sets Vinyl Moon’s releases apart from the rest. Because each release introduces at least ten different bands every month, it provides the opportunity for very creative artwork, themes, and presentation of the music.
Listeners are clearly agreeing with this exciting experience — Vinyl Moon’s subscribers have more than doubled over the three months leading into March 2021. As people have been spending more time at home in the past year and have been unable to go out to experience live music or find new music in record stores, they have sought out ways to mimic those experiences at home. Vinyl Moon provides an excellent way to do that.
I recently checked out two of the club’s releases – one from early 2020 and one from early 2021. Each release is very distinct and representative of the respective times, and chock full of great information and wonderful new tunes to enjoy.
Vinyl Moon Volume 057: The Long Run
One of the first things I noticed and appreciated about this release was the detail provided in the booklet. Each release has a name and theme to keep in mind when listening. This release is entitled “The Long Run,” with a brief opening written by Vinyl Moon founder, Brandon Bogajewicz. Created about a month into the pandemic, the narrative touches on practicing patience as we await what lies ahead. Accompanying the music is a story told through drawings by Irish artist Shane Clusky, depicting a ghost breaking free from one place and adventuring to another to find a loved one.
The record is home to music from artists all over the U.S. and Europe. It presents a really diverse mix of songs, ranging from indie rock to folk to synth-pop. One of my favorite tracks is “Problem Children” by Connor McCoy, a singer-songwriter from Salt Lake City. The song has major Postal Service vibes with a lush sonic landscape. The great thing about the Vinyl Moon package is it allows the listener to learn a lot about each song and artist, from the lyrics to an artist bio and Instagram handle. I really enjoyed following along in the booklet with each song, getting to see each track’s corresponding album art and being introduced to each new artist.
Vinyl Moon Volume 066: The Comfort Of A Dream
Fast forward one year, and we are met with an album full of hope and dreams. “Time,” “sleep,” “love,” and “nature” are listed as key subjects of this release. It kicks off with the striking “Pina” from Noya Rao, a jazz outfit based in the United Kingdom. I completely agree with the booklet’s statement that Noya Rao is one to watch, and will be seeking out more tunes from them. Italian beat maker G Bersa stimulates the senses on “Interstellar” with a pulsing beat and 8-bit effects that add the perfect layer of nostalgia. On “Phosphorescence,” Canadian group Speaker Face shows off its unique sound with beautiful harmonies in front of disparate instrumentation that is highly reminiscent of older Radiohead material.
Another feature of Vinyl Moon’s releases that begs to be mentioned is the packaging and vinyl itself. The releases usually come pressed in unique colored variants and are housed in high-quality anti-static inner sleeves. The packaging is always unique and very well thought out. The Comfort Of A Dream is an excellent pressing. The vinyl is super quiet, with no surface noise and excellent sound quality. The jacket actually has a magnetic closure where the vinyl sits snugly inside. The extra goodie included in the package is a magnet displaying a piece of the album art – a very clever addition to the package at a time when labels are trying hard to differentiate their releases.
Vinyl Moon offers monthly, 3-month, and annual subscriptions with a monthly subscription price of $30 (free shipping included). If you don’t love the first record you receive, you can send it back for a swap or full refund with no questions asked. Right now, the company is offering 10% off any new membership with the code MOONTEN. With the discount and satisfaction guarantee, there’s really no reason not to give Vinyl Moon a spin.
I highly recommend it as a means to discover new music and have a really enjoyable, surprising experience with vinyl each month.
For more information: Vinyl Moon