Our next three Essentials Records of the month — which you’ll receive if you sign up for VMP Essentials in October, November and December 2021 — see throwbacks in indie, R&B and funk. Read below to find out more:
October: Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest
VMP’s October Essentials will feature Grizzly Bear’s celebrated 2009 third studio album Veckatimest. While the band saw success with their previous albums, Veckatimest ultimately became the album that would launch them to the top of Billboard charts and ingrain them as indie icons. Grizzly Bear brings members along to the tiny island after which the album was named via the roadmap of the record’s grooves. The 2LP album is pressed on opaque Pink and transparent Orange vinyl, half-speed mastered by Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering at AIR, cut at 45 RPM. Veckatimest includes Listening Notes by Sophie Kemp and an art print of a painting by William J. O’Brien.
“We’re incredibly excited to be able to work with Grizzly Bear for this reissue. Veckatimest is largely considered one of the best records to come out of the mid to late 2000s of the indie-rock genre. It’s a really interesting record and has the song ‘Two Weeks’ on it. If you listened to alternative radio at any point in the mid to late 2000s, you probably heard it on repeat — but then it made its way to the cultural zeitgeist,” VMP’s Head of A&R Alexandra Berenson shared.
“You also have these deep, thoughtful sleeper tracks that have some of the most interesting arrangements I’ve ever heard in an album,” she added, “Grizzly Bear is a band that’s fairly prolific and has managed to put out incredible records over the course of their careers, so it made perfect sense to add this to our catalog.”
Sign up now to receive Veckatimest.
November: Usher’s Confessions
For the first time ever, the special edition of Usher’s Confessions will be available on vinyl as VMP’s November Essentials ROTM. Released in 2004, Usher revealed his deepest secrets in the form of an album heard by nearly everyone who had a pulse on music. Pressed on 2LP Gold Nugget vinyl with lacquers cut by Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering at AIR, Confessions will include Listening Notes written by Britt Julious and an art print by Dave Tonge.
“Bridging musical genres and stylistic eras (through both subject matter and production style), Confessions is an album set apart, and a masterpiece of tone and sound,” Julious wrote in the Listening Notes. She added, “Here, Usher asks us to sympathize with the philanderer, the heartbreaker. And we do. With a lesser artist, this may be impossible for the listener, but Usher’s charms are unfailing.”
VMP’s Head of A&R Alexandra Berenson said, “We’re really excited for the opportunity to run a record like this because we haven’t really done a massive R&B crossover hit in our Essentials. It’s a very cohesive album and it has been totally underserved on vinyl. It hasn’t had a reissue since it first came out and we figured, ‘Let’s give this the VMP treatment. Let’s try to make the most definitive version of this record that we can.’ We were hoping to give something to people that have likely been wanting this reissue for a while, and maybe ask people who only know the singles to spend some time with the record and give it a front-to-back listen.”
Confessions will be available for sign-ups starting October 26.
December: The Meters’ Rejuvenation
VMP members can warm up this December by dancing along to the The Meters’ Rejuvenation. The Meters bring in the heat with an aptly titled album. Get ready to be revived from the winter blues with a tracklist packed with New Orleans funk. The VMP edition of the album is pressed on Neon Yellow vinyl with AAA lacquers cut from the original analog tapes by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, and comes with Listening Notes written by Josh Terry and an original art print by Julia Fletcher.
VMP Country & Classics Director Andrew Winistorfer said, “The Meters’ Rejuvenation has been a bucket list project for us for a few years; so many members of our team have wanted to feature this album that it’s hard to remember where the idea first came from. It’s been passed from VMP staffer to staffer like a secret, a wave of us becoming obsessed with this album’s heavy New Orleans funk.”
Winistorfer added, “Everything about this record — from the way the horns hit, to the cover, to the effortless blend of funk, soul and R&B, to the group vocals of the Neville brothers, to Leo Nocentelli’s interstellar guitar riffs — is Essential, and it’s an honor to bring our members this newly remastered edition, a perfect cap to one of the best years in VMP Essentials history.”
Rejuvenation will be available for sign-ups starting November 23.