Recs with Merritt previews April’s best vinyl releases—Natalie Merchant, The National, and a new Smashing Pumpkins rock opera

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Recs With Merritt. // Art by Cassondra Jones

Records with Merritt is Marion Merritt’s vinyl store in Westport [1614 Westport Rd] with partner Ann Stewart. As a staple in our community for nearly a decade, we’ve partnered with Merritt for a new monthly column, where the tastemaker shares her picks for the best wax releases to look forward to grabbing, divided by release date.

Here are Marion Merritt’s picks for the best of April 2023’s vinyl releases.

April 4, 2023

Music lovers tend to dive deep into a genre, label, or artist. A deep dive a long while back into The Elephant 6 Collective exposed me to Olivia Tremor Control, of Montreal, Apples in Stereo, Elf Power, and Neutral Milk Hotel. Elephant 6 Collective founder Jeff Magnum’s Neutral Milk Hotel will put out On Avery Island Anniversary Edition—a masterpiece of trombones, keyboards, and unparalleled songcraft—on April 4 via Merge Records. For this anniversary reissue, the complete originally intended version of “Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye” will complete the album.

Other albums of note for the week of April 4th:

Chet Baker – Chet Baker Sings & Plays

Heather Woods Broderick – Labyrinth

Daughter – Stereo Mind Game

De la Soul – De La Soul is Dead

Anderson Paak. – Malibu

Manchester Orchestra – The Valley of Vision

Linkin Park- Meteora 20th Anniversary Edition

Thomas Bangalter – Mythologies

Mudhoney – Plastic Eternity

Ellie Goulding-Higher Than Heaven

Tim Hecker – No Highs

Wednesday- Rat Saw God

Yaeji – With a Hammer

Blondshell – Blondshell

Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss

Joey Bada$$$ – 2000

Braid – Frame & Canvas (25th Anniversary Edition)

Calvin Johnson – Gallows Wine

Hatchie – Giving the World Away (Deluxe)

April 14, 2023

Natalie Merchant’s Keep Your Courage is her ninth solo studio album and her first with all new material since 2014’s Natalie Merchant. As the producer of this album, Merchant gives us an eclectic mix of duets with Abena Koomson-Davis and contributions from the Celtic folk group Lúnasa, Syrian virtuoso clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and horn arrangements by jazz trombonist Steve Davis. Keep Your Courage will be released on April 14th via Nonesuch Records.

Other albums of note for the week of April 14th:

Caroline Polachek – Desire

El Michels Affair & Black Thought – Glorious Game

Angel Olsen – Forever Means EP

David Bowie – Aladdin Sane (2013 Remaster)

Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (20th Anniversary Deluxe)

Brian Dunne – Loser on the Ropes

13th Floor Elevators – 13 Of The Best Of The 13th Floor Elevators

Feist – Multitudes

The Tallest Man on Earth – Henry St.

Fenne Lily – Big Picture

Fruit Bats – A River Running to Your Heart

The Hidden Cameras – The Smell of Our Own (20th Anniversary Edition)

Kara Jackson –Why Does the Earth Give Us People to Love?

Neil Young & The Santa Monica Flyers – Tonight’s the Night (Live)

Metallica – 72 Seasons

Ozmotic & Fennesz – Senzatempo

Shannon Lay – Covers Vol. 1

Shygirl – Nymph_o

April 21, 2023

The Smashing Pumpkins’ twelfth studio album is a three-act rock opera titled ATUM (pronounced Autumn). ATUM will feature 33 tracks, and is the sequel to and final installment in a concept album trilogy that includes 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and 2000’s Machina/Machine of GodATUM was written and produced by Billy Corgan over the past four years and features the three original members: Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin. AUTM will be released on April 21st via Martha’s Music.

Other albums of note for the week of April 21st:

Dr. Dre – The Chronic (reissue)

Benny The Butcher – Tana Talk 4

Everything But The Girl – Fuse

Ryuichi Sakamoto – 12

Silver Moth – Black Bay

Donnie & Joe Emerson – Dreamin’ Wild

Girlhouse – The Girlhouse

Rodrigo Y Gabriela – In Between Thought

St. Paul & The Broken Bones – Angels in Science Fiction

Sublime – $5 At The Door

April 28, 2023

The National’s ninth studio album, First Two Pages Of Frankenstein, is another forward step in their music catalog. The energetic album features guest appearances by Taylor Swift (“The Alcott”), Phoebe Bridgers (“This Isn’t Helping” and “Your Mind Is Not Your Friend”) and Sufjan Stevens (“Once Upon a Poolside”). First Two Pages Of Frankenstein will be released on April 28th via 4AD.

Other albums of note for the week of April 28th:

Rickie Lee Jones – Pieces of Treasure

Country Westerns – Forgive the City

John Williams – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Soundtrack

Indigo De Souza – All of This Will End

Jessie Ware – That! Feels Good!

The Damned – Darkadelic

Neil Gaiman & FourPlay String Quartet – Signs of Life

Kelly Clarkson – Meaning of Life

Categories: Music