Kate Nash Wears Her Heart IN Her (Record) Sleeve With Pussy Riot Tribute

Are you a vinyl fan? I used to collect 7" records obsessively...
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Are you a vinyl fan? I used to collect 7" records obsessively...

While I was idly cruising Instagram the other day (I love it more than Twitter now, sorry Twitter) I saw George of District MTV had posted a photo of her haul from Record Store Day and right in the middle was a HEART SHAPED RECORD.

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“How cool is that” I thought to myself and guess what? It turns out it’s Kate Nash’s new single, Free My Pussy, which she’s written and released in tribute to Pussy Riot! How cool is THAT? Kate was one of the artists in the UK campaigning for Pussy Riot’s release when they were arrested and put on trial in Russia after staging a ‘punk prayer’ protest in a cathedral in Moscow. George wrote about it beautifully for xoJane right here.

Here's the video (I love that she actually miaows in this song.)

Sadly I think this particular heart-shaped vinyl is incredibly hard to get hold of, but the track itself appears on the Deluxe version of Kate's new album, Girl Talk, which you can buy here. Anyway, all this talk of vinyl reminded me of my own precious collection of limited edition 7 inches which are still at home (you know what I mean, 'home-home', as opposed to the place where you actually live most of the time.)

In a battered red tin box there are early Ash records (from when I was in their fan club - membership number 69, fnar), a gorgeous see-through record with pink glitter for Radish's Little Pink Stars, some neon REM numbers and who knows what else.

My parents started collecting records for me when I was little, so I've also got some Kate Bush, Grace Jones and the original Live Aid single in there for good measure - a pretty eclectic mix. I used to play them on my little Fisher Price record player, then graduated to something more 'grown-up' from Argos.

Some of my precious 7 inches

Some of my precious 7 inches

These days we have a fancy turntable which looks cool and plays full-sized records but is a faff to convert for 7 inches, so I haven't bothered transporting my precious collection yet. But I think I will. And don't even get me started on mix tapes, which I still insist on stubbornly clinging on to - they're jammed into shoeboxes and drawers, collecting dust, but I just can't let them go.

Each represents a particular point in my life and listening to them (when I can bring myself to, which is rare) unbottles so many old emotions which don't feel any less intense with the passing of time.

Some I made for myself, and others were made for me, and boy are they powerful little time capsules. It's amazing how small objects - a mix tape, a bottle of nail polish, a friendship bracelet, perfume - can trigger a wave of memories and emotions, as fresh as the day you first felt them.

There are a few tragic, plastic minidiscs hanging around hopefully too, but I don't think they're going to be enjoying a revival any time soon. Still, there's something so beautiful, tactile and special about vinyl and it seems to be coming back in a big way - this ES Magazine piece outlines all the events in London which are celebrating records in all their glory.

Being a proper, paperback-loving Luddite, I am deeply suspicious of things like iTunes, Spotify and their ilk. I just prefer my music to be tangible - to be able to hold it in my hands and enjoy the artwork, sleeve notes and all that lovely, old fashioned fun.

Am I alone? Do you still have a precious collection of records or awesomely dated mix tapes? Did yours have cringesome titles like mine? (The best-worst was the 'Deep Stuff' series which extended to 6 volumes I believe and featured lots of Screaming Trees and Lightning Seeds.) Share!