Vinyl Corner is a feature where we take a look at vinyl pressings of various albums and weigh them up to see just how good they sound, how well they’re pressed and what sort of packaging to expect – as well as giving a brief overview of the music itself. This time, we’re taking a look at the newly released collaboration between Welsh singer Novo Amor and Oxford-born Ed Tullett, released through AllPoints Records.
A collaboration between two emerging singer/songwriters, ‘Heiress’ is an expansive, heart-on-sleeve collection of songs that wastes no time in cutting right down to the core of things. Outside of this new collaboration, Novo Amor has to his name a couple of EPs released over the last three years, whilst Ed Tullett put out his debut LP ‘Fiancé’ last year. The fruits of the duo’s collaborations become immediately clear upon hearing ‘Heiress’. It’s a sonically distinct album, one with an individual and definite hallmark that sets it out as the work of artists who are originators rather than imitators.
Whilst the album is spread over two sturdily pressed black LPs, this vinyl version of ‘Heiress’ certainly doesn’t risk any degradation of sound quality. It’s not an especially long album – the runtime is a comparatively succinct 45 minutes – so whether the release strictly needs to be a double LP is up for debate (and, indeed, sides are fairly pithy – usually only running a little over 10 minutes). However there’s no denying that sonically this pressing sounds great; with a clear, balanced soundscape and rich response for all the frequencies, so perhaps it’s just as well that it’s a double disc affair. From new, the discs are clean and well pressed, with a clear playback largely uninterrupted by surface noise. We did get the odd pop here or there but nothing significant and certainly not enough to interrupt or distract from the album’s beguiling ambience.
‘Heiress’ boasts a striking visual flair, thanks in no small way to the arrestingly cohesive art found throughout the album’s packaging. Housed in a hearty gatefold sleeve, it’s not just the front cover that’s adorned with the album’s eye-catchingly abstract art, as the inner-gatefold spread and back cover also boast similar visuals. Print quality is sharp and the spine looks great, with a simple, tasteful choice of font and an easy to read monochromatic colour scheme. The records come housed in heavy-stock printed paper inner sleeves, again presenting further artwork – in addition to lyrics for all the songs contained on that disc. They’re an attractive addition but repeated use is likely to cause scuffing from sleeve removal so condition conscious buyers may be best-off swapping them out for polylined inners. All in all, however, this is a very nicely presented and packaged release with classy, eye-catching artwork and slick presentation.
‘Heiress’ is a quietly surging collation of emotion, an album nuanced and quiet enough to be drowned-out with ease but powerful enough to move if given the chance. The AllPoints Records vinyl release is a well made one with good playback and an appealing presentation.