For the past years, vinyl sales have been experiencing a slow but gradual increase. Because of this, a lot of artists have been including them in their physical releases. They’re not just the usual standard black vinyl records though.
Through the years of developing the vinyl record, manufacturers have found a way to customize them. Since then, there have been a lot of custom vinyl records, particularly colored vinyl records.
When I said that many artists are releasing their albums on them, I really meant it. From those signed to big record labels to those artists with indie labels. Not only that, even new artists are jumping on the trend.
However, since custom vinyl records can be quite expensive, the more customized it is, most of them are just colored vinyl records. But this doesn’t mean that they’re less aesthetic, because there are a lot of designs artists can do with just colors. And this has become a trend in the releases of many indie bands.
Here are some of those lovely colored vinyl records from indie bands:
RADIOHEAD – PABLO HONEY
The most basic type of colored vinyl record is the monocolored one. For Radiohead’s limited edition reissue of their debut album Pablo Honey, the record sports a blue colored vinyl record with a subtle marble design. With colored vinyl records you can decide on whether you’ll have an opaque or transparent one and for this, the band went for a semi-transparent one.
THE STROKES – IS THIS IT Half Blue, Half Gold Colored Vinyl Record by THE STROKES
One level up is the two-toned vinyl records. Most records, when they only have two colors, would be designed like The Strokes half blue, half gold colored vinyl record for Is This It. What’s interesting is there’s a third color (green), which is unintentional, thanks to the mixture of the two primary colors.
PIXIES – DOOLITTLE
As mentioned there are other ways to design records with only two colors, and this one is another. This was named the “Pinwheel” version of the Pixies’ vinyl record release for Doolittle. The background is in color green while the bronze represents the wheels as it spreads out from the record’s center label.
THE SMITHS – THE SMITHS
Of course if there are monocolored and bicolored, there surely will be multi-colored vinyl records. The Smiths colored vinyl record for their self-titled album is multi-colored and is in sections, following the pattern red, green, red, purple. This doesn’t have to be the only design though, there are multicolored splatter vinyl records too.
ARCTIC MONKEYS – BENEATH THE BOARDWALK
Last is another way to design transparent or semi-transparent vinyl records. Arctic Monkeys’ vinyl record for Beneath the Boardwalk has black swirling mist or smoke in it which somehow coincides with the artwork on the jacket’s front cover.
There are a lot more colored vinyl releases from indie bands and that’s just the very tip of the iceberg. If you search through the internet, I’m sure you’ll find more beautiful colored vinyl records. And you might find one that’s released by your fave indie band.
Why are indie bands releasing colored vinyl records?
Now the question is, why are indie bands choosing to release on vinyl records when they could just stick with digitals?
Here are some of the reasons we can think of.
#1. MANY BANDS ARE DOING IT
Humans are mostly like that. Whenever we see something trend or get attention, we tend to copy or jump on it to fit in with friends and acquaintances. It’s not a bad thing though, especially when it comes to the merchandise you are selling to your fans.
Since many bands are releasing their singles, EPs, and albums on vinyl records, indie bands should not be stubborn and not jump on the bandwagon. It’d be quite risky not to, because music fans in general are loving the format right now. This means that indie bands might get new fans from releasing them.
#2. FANS ARE LOVING THEM
Tons of bands releasing on them is not really a good reason. But since high supply is the effect of high demand then it is assumed that there are a lot of fans buying them. And there are indeed a lot of them loving it so far.
The newly released album by Harry Styles titled Harry’s House has apparently surpassed Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version), and has set a new record for sales week for a vinyl album in the United States. His vinyl album sold more than 146,000 copies on the first three days of its release.
Additionally, the British indie labels have seen a growth in their album sales across all platforms, from 30.4% in 2019 to 34.2% in 2021. And in those total sales, labels reported that 39.5% were vinyl records. This just cements the fans’ love for vinyl record format.
#3. THEY GENERATE MONEY WELL
Since fans are into the format, sales are increasing which means that bands are gaining money by selling them. Money is important for many indie musicians, because it is used to fund their future solo releases, especially if they are not signed into an indie label. With vinyl records continuously rising in popularity, indie bands may have extra money to be able to pay or buy for their personal needs.
#4. SHORT RUN VINYL PRESSING IS NOW EVERYWHERE
There are a lot of manufacturers and pressing plants that are offering short run custom vinyl pressings to musicians. It would be a waste if indie bands will not grab the chance to release theirs on the format.
With this custom vinyl pressing allowing bands to place small orders for their custom vinyl records, they can now release them without worrying too much about the cost of producing only a couple of copies. We all know how expensive ordering them can get, so having this short run vinyl pressing offered to them is a big help.
Additionally, there are manufacturers that offer discounts for indie artists and bands, not just for custom vinyl pressing but for CD duplications and custom merch manufacturing. And it’s just great knowing that there are companies like them that show support for indie musicians.
In conclusion, the answer to the main question is definitely yes.
Colored vinyl records are the new trend among indie music bands. And that’s because they’re beautiful and cool and are worth collecting.
If you’re a musician, it would do you good to press a few colored vinyl records to test. And if you’re a music freak like me, I’d start collecting them now.