Flying Vinyl is a subscription service from which you get 5 exclusive 7″ vinyl singles sent to your door for £20 a month or £216 a year. All of the singles featured in each box are exclusives to Flying Vinyl.
This month’s (August 2016) records are: Deap Valley – Smile More / Royal Jelly on transparent pink vinyl, Shrinking Minds – Fun / Chasing, Caro – Cold Comfort / Admit/Rest, James Vincent McMorrow – Rising Water / ELV (Acoustic) on transparent blue vinyl and Afterbloom – Duh / Nothing To Learn.
Inside each box you also get a small magazine with more info about the artists featured in that month’s edition, and regularly you get merchandise included as well.
I spoke to Craig Evans, founder of Flying Vinyl to find out more about why he started the subscription service, and how the artists are selected each month;
How long ago did you start up?
The company was a year old in June, it really feels like only yesterday and we have to keep pinching ourselves that we’ve now put over 70 artists out on vinyl (most of which for the first time they’ve been on wax).
What made you decide to start up flying vinyl?
Generally speaking it was a feeling that there’s a huge amount of incredible music out there but it’s felt in the last ten years increasingly hard to cut through the amount of digital noise that exists now and get this music heard. I felt like returning to a format that people have a deep connection with and would be the best way to present new music to proper music lovers. If you compare that to most digital outlets that are filled with advertising and related content and pop-ups and things like that it’s a radically different experience introducing people to music for the first time on vinyl.
How do you go about choosing the artists for each month?
When we really got going with Flying Vinyl quite a lot of people suggested that we have a board of people who’d curate the thing, but honestly that sounded like a complete nightmare and a big problem that radio producers suffer from… ‘too many chefs in the kitchen’. Instead there’s just two of us who select what goes in there and really that’s entirely based upon A&R’ing in the most traditional way: Going to gigs and hearing a lot of shit in order to find the absolute gems, recommendations from trusted people. We’re also a outlet that does accept submissions from anyone via email. A few months back we took our first band from that medium, a band called Sugarthief, who sent us two scratchy demos but we loved them so put them out in April alongside artists like Black Honey, INHEAVEN and Oscar. That’s what’s really amazing about the company, it’s the ability to not really care about whether a band is a major label hype band or something that no ones really heard of, all we care about is that the music’s good.
Do you have a favourite single you’ve sent out so far?
Ah that’s always a tricky question, so I’m going to be a bastard and dodge it. I’ll say this, we’re fortunate enough to work with some incredible, more developed artists like Deap Vally, James Vincent Mcmorrow, Swim Deep and bands like that. At the same time we’re working with the next generation, bands like Dream Wife, The Big Moon, The Magic Gang, The Amazons. I have every record that we’ve ever pressed in my cupboard and play all of them, each one means something different. It’s all part of a journey for us as a company and though there’s ones that stand out because they represent milestones for us, they’re all great.
Overall, I think the service is great value for what you get. The fact that you’re only paying £4 per single is great value in itself, but the fact that each of them are exclusive to Flying Vinyl, and you are guaranteed that one of them will be coloured makes it incredible value for money. (P&P is included in the UK too!)