Thursday, January 24, 2013

First Vital Release of 2013 Is...

If you haven't heard the Danish pop outfit Northern Portrait, the 10" EP 'Pretty Decent Swimmers,' out this week via Matinée Recordings, is a great place to take the plunge.

I should dive right into the music, but I would be remiss if I didn't take a second to proclaim this one of the most physically beautiful pieces of vinyl to ever hit a turntable. The record itself is transparent swimming pool blue, and the limited-edition hand-numbered copies are housed in a sleeve featuring Los Angeles water ballet troupe Aqualillies on the cover. The color and photography are stunning.

Now on to the tunes. All four songs are absolute keepers (and these days you're lucky to get that many on a full-length album!), but I especially like the jangle of "Happy Nice Day" and "I Feel Even Better." I was a big fan of 'Criminal Art Lovers,' the band's debut album, but these new songs are the real masterpieces. Buy it straight from the label for $8. It's going to be a great year.