New: Store of the Month ‘Drift Record Shop’

In one form or another, the family owned and loosely evolving Drift Record Shop has lived on the Totnes high street since the mid-nineties. Currently driven by “Indie Champion” (2015 AIM Awards) Rupert Morrison, the whole operation is approached with just the right amount of revery… after all, would you really expect one of the country’s most critically-acclaimed outlets smack in the middle of an 8000 person farming town? Well, quite.

driftMuch of what they do is through gut reaction and personal gratification. Rupert explains “I think to run a record shop well there has to be quite a lot of vanity about it you know? I used to always explain that it’s ‘hardly a real job’ running a record shop… I was always implying that it’s just too much fun, self-managing, playing music all day, hanging out and talking shop… but I think although what I said still holds true, it’s evolved. Running a record shop is about playing the long game and really finding moments of good along the way as it really is a slog. Between listening to records, restocking stuff, balancing books, packing stuff, unpacking stuff, pontificating, ordering, more listening… it’s increasingly hard to fit it all in.”

But they do manage. Running the office from phones, checking the social sites at all hours, late night ‘packing parties’ on high profile mail-order releases. Although still based in the footprint of their humble origins, Drift is very much the 24/7, 365 modern shop that is always on and always on the hunt for something new.

“now that is the ‘hardly a real job’ part of the quote that I stick to the most” Rupert continues, “I think listening to music started to become habitual, then through necessity, weird sleeping habits (young kids) and a really obsessive personality, it just formed the structure to pretty much everything I do. I listen to music all day, literally… but that’s a tremendous privilege. Not just getting hold of stuff early, but getting sent things that weren’t on my radar… being in a position to champion that stuff and tell other people. We’re a small cog in a much bigger machine, but I think we’re an important cog – all indie shops are – and our ability to turn people on to something new – or not new – is really clear to our friends in bands, those who manage them, the labels, the agents and the distributors.”

A shop, a meeting place, publishers of a magazine – Deluxe, a quarterly journal about other record shops – and now a festival with their Sea Change festival returning this August after a sell-out-debut in 2016. Nominated as the Music Week Best Independent Retailer for the last five years straight, maybe 2017 will be there year?

A few things we’re excited about in the next few weeks. The new Shadow Band album – Wilderness of Love – on Mexican Summer is a real joy. It could easily have been recorded on the San Franciscan shores forty years ago, there is a really beautiful wistfulness about it. Mexican Summer are one of those labels you’re always going to want to check out. Summer Moon’s debut ‘With You Tonight’ is really good. The band is lead by Strokes’ Nikolai Fraiture and there is a lot going on across the album. Some of it is straight up NYC pop, but there are some really nice changes of pace. I think the one that is hard to ignore also is the returning Laura Marling. She has such an immaculate back catalog that it comes as no surprise to anyone that her new LP – Semper Femina – is exquisitely delivered. It’s amazing that she is still only 27, I think she can truly keep progressing to be one of the most important voices this country has ever produced.

YouTube Launches New ‘Super Chat’ Feature


YouTube is the largest video streaming platform with over 3 billions hours of video being watched each month, many of which are monetised views. YouTube has just announced the roll out of a brand new feature ‘Super Chat’ which will enable creators to monetise their content whilst streaming live video.

Much like other live streaming competitors including Facebook live and Instagram Live Stories, the content is not monetised and the comment space is spammed by thousands of messages.

With ‘Super Chat’ however, fans are able to pay real money to sponsor their comments on the live video and have them pinned to the top of the comment section for a limited amount of time. This allows for the creator to earn revenue on their live content but also for the fan to be recognised and develop a personal interaction with the YouTuber.

nexus2cee_youtubesuperchatheroSuper Chats stand out from other messages in two ways:

  • Your Super Chat is highlighted with a color.
  • Your Super Chat stays pinned in the ticker for a set period of time, depending on the amount selected.

The amount of money spent on sending a Super Chat will determine the duration the comment will stay pinned in the ticker and the maximum message length.

Find out more about YouTube’s Super Chat here.

Holy Roar Artists Take To The Indies!

The great bands on Holy Roar label have taken to the independent record shops to pick out some of their favourite records to talk about! Have a watch below and see how they get on!

Conjurer @ All Ages, Camden

Wren @ All Ages, Camden

Apologies, I Have Non @ All Ages, Camden

Svalbard @ Rise, Bristol

Giants @ All Ages, Camden

Human Future @ Music Fear Satan, Paris

Group Of Man @ Sister Ray, London

The Brit Awards 2017!


We are so excited to have two of our fantastic artists nominated for Brit Awards this year.

Skepta has been nominated for 3 awards for ‘British Male Solo Artist’, ‘British Breakthrough Act’ and ‘British Album of the year’ with the unforgettable ‘Konnichiwa’ released on Boy Better Know.

James Arthur has landed 2 nominations for ‘British Single’ and ‘British Video’ for his #1 single ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ from the #1 album ‘Back From The Edge’ on Syco Music.

The awards ceremony will take place on February 22nd at the O2 Arena in London.

Voting for ‘British Video’ and ‘British Breakthrough Act’ are done by the FANS! So head over to the official website now to cast your vote.


James Arthur (Syco Music)

British Video for ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ (Vote here:

British Single for ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’


Skepta (Boy Better Know)

British Male

British Breakthrough Artist (Voting opens soon)

British Album of the Year

See the full list of nominees on the official Brit Awards website.

The Top Red Essential Albums of 2016!


We’ve had a great year here at red essential working on some fantastic releases! Have a look below to see a few of our albums featured online and in store as part of the end of year top albums of 2016!

#24 Giggs – Landlord (SN1 Records)
#47 Skepta – Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)

#50 Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost (Big Scary Monsters)

Gorilla vs. Bear
#51 White Denim – Stiff (Downtown Records)
#34 Postiljonen – Reverie (Best Fit Recordings)
#32 Nxworries – Yes Lawd! (Stones Throw)
#29 Kero Kero Bonito – Generation (Double Denim)
#16 Fear Of Men – Fall Forever (Kanine Records)
#14 Yumi Zouma – Yoncalla (Cascine)
#11 Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat To Earth (Mexican Summer)

Uncut Magazine
#38 The Jayhawks – Paging Mr. Proust (Thirty Tigers)
#51 Lucinda Williams – The Ghosts of Highway 20 (Thirty Tigers)
#56 Lou Rhodes – Theyesandeye (Nude Records)

The Independent
#12 Skepta – Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)

Decibel Magazine

#40 The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation (Party Smasher Inc)

Crack Magazine:
#51 Giggs – Landlord (SN1 Records)
#49 Nxworries – Yes Lawd! (Stones Throw)
#26 Skepta – Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)

The Skinny
#43 Honeyblood – Babes Never Die (FatCat Records)

#43 Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat To Earth (Mexican Summer)
#28 NxWorries – Yes Lawd! (Stones Throw)

The Quietus
#15 Skepta – Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)

#51 NxWorries – Yes Lawd! (Stones Throw)
#43 Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost (Big Scary Monsters)
#26 Skepta – Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)
#21 Giggs – Landlord (SN1 Records)

Resident Advisor
#16 Skepta – Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)

Paste Magazine
#50 Courtney Marie Andrews – Honest Life (Loose Music)

Classic Rock Magazine (hard copy)
#9 The Answer – Solas (Napalm Records)
#14 Alter Bridge – The Last Hero (Napalm Records)
#39 Deap Vally – Femejism (Cooking Vinyl)

Picadilly Records
Album of the Year – Whyte Horses – Pop Or Not (CRC Music)
#16 Badbadnotgood – IV (Innovative Leisure)
#54 Mild High Club – Skiptracing (Stones Throw)
#80 Allah-Las – Calico Review (Mexican Summer)

Rough Trade
Allah-Las – Calico Review (Mexican Summer)
Public Access TV – Never Enough (Cinematic Music Group)
Skepta – Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)
Badbadnotgood – IV (Innovative Leisure)

Resident Store
#56 Ian William Craig – Centres (130701)
#76 White Denim – Stiff (Downtown)
#105 Badbadnotgood – IV (Innovative Leisure)
#112 The Handsome Family – Unseen (Loose)
#122 Guadalupe Plata – Guadalupe Plata 2015 (Everlasting)
#129 Resina – Resina (130701)
#156 C Duncan – The Midnight Sun (Fat Cat)
#170 Duke Spirit – Kin (Ex Voto)
#179 Lucinda Williams – The Ghosts Of Highway 20 (Thirty Tigers)
#184 Honeyblood – Babes Never Die (Fat Cat)
#195 DJ Shadow – The Mountain Will Fall (Mass Appeal)
#196 School Of Seven Bells – SVIIB (Full Time Hobby)

Have a listen to our top albums of 2016 on Spotify chosen by us here at the Red Essential HQ!



Indie Label Market 2016!


It’s that time of year again, the Indie Label Market is back for 2016, celebrating the great releases this year from fantastic independent labels! The event, supported by The Association of Independent Music (AIM) will be held tomorrow Saturday 26th November at Old Spitalfields Market in conjuction with the London Brewer’s Market for the all day annual celebration!

We’ve got some of our great labels attending, so if you’re thinking of heading down tomorrow, make sure you go over and check them out!

Cherry Red
Loose Music
Holy roar
Innovative leisure
Fat cat
Loose music

Find out more about the Indie Label Market on their official website!

Instagram Introduces Live Video and Disappearing Content!


Earlier this week photo sharing platform Instagram offered another great update to its users by introducing Live Video and Disappearing Content to all users on IOS and Android devices.

As seen on social media giant Facebook, live videos have been incredible successful for promoting content, particularly for artists as it allows them to fully connect with their fans on a more personal level and drive higher engagement. As Instagram lives comfortably under Facebook’s umbrella, it only seems right that this feature was rolled out onto this platform too, to satisfy the needs of each user on their desired platform.

Much like it’s competitor of Live Video, Periscope, users are now also able to interact with the video as it’s streaming and add comments and likes. Each live video can be filmed for up to an hour, but cannot be reposted after broadcast, unlike Facebook.

Instagram also took a leaf out of Snapchat’s book and introduced Disappearing Content to be used as part of their Instagram Stories feature, which was also launched fairly recently. Users can now send photos or videos privately to select users or groups. Once the content has been viewed by the receiving user, it then disappears and cannot be seen again.

The images or videos will appear in the user’s ‘Direct Messaging‘ section where users can communicate via instant messaging and have the ability to tag other users in posts on their feed privately.

To read more about the new features on Instagram, visit their official blog site.

Indie Store Of The Month: Left For Dead!


Owner Andy Haddon has been working in record shops for almost twenty-five years, in a career that has taken him across the UK, managing shops for HMV, Fopp and Rise. In 2012, Six months into a yearlong career break, in the back of a camper van somewhere in Western Australia, the idea for Left for Dead was born.

Having spent his life working for other retailers he decided it was time to utilise his knowledge and experience for himself. Over a drink with his wife Jenny they put together the plan for Andy to open a shop.

The name ‘Left for Dead’ came about in the strangest of ways. One of his favourite albums is the 2000 album Heartbreaker by Ryan Adams which was produced by Ethan Johns. The first track on the album starts off with Ryan Adams having a discussion with fellow musician Dave Rawlings about the recordings of Morrissey. The discussion ends with Ryan Adams shouting the phrase ‘Left for Dead’. The phrase struck a chord with Andy who felt it could be applied to the way the music industry had treated record shops.

Left for Dead

In an ironic twist in 2016, Andy noticed Ethan Johns was touring the UK and made contact to see if he would be prepared to do an in-store event in the shop. Ethan, a big supporter of independent record shops having done gigs inside many of them, was happy to. It gave Andy the opportunity to tell Ethan in person the anecdote about how the shop was named.

Having originally opened in Birmingham in 2013 he relocated to Shrewsbury in 2015 and he has not looked back since. The shop is situated on a beautiful historic hill called Wyle Cop which features the longest row of independent shops in the UK ensuring plenty of passing footfall. It is worth visiting for this reason alone.

The shop runs a successful loyalty card scheme offering regular cardholders 10% discount and as well as prize draws it offers priority to people wishing to attend the shops many in-stores.

Andy is known as the record retailer of a thousand faces. Check out the shop’s Facebook page and Twitter. Here you will find Andy promoting his latest recommended albums to listen to. The album’s sleeve is held next to Andy’s face that always has a comical expression.

I asked Andy about recent Proper and Essential releases:
2016 has been a fantastic year for new records. One of our favourite releases has been the accomplished debut record from Desert Mountain Tribe, ‘Either That Or The Moon’, recently reissued on limited edition white vinyl. In fact, we liked it so much we’re putting the band on in Shrewsbury; our first venture as gig promoters and we’re chuffed to be bringing a band of the caliber of DMT to the town.

Another great release from the Proper stable is the totally brilliant Space Echo comp on Analog Africa. It’s consistent bestseller, sounds amazing in the shop and is arguably the best compilation released this year.

Music shop geeks have a thing about making lists and at this time of year we start canvassing our customers for their favourite records. Being a small shop this is really useful, and in previous years there have been records that have made it into our year end list as much on the recommendation of our loyal punters as on our own peculiar tastes. The fact we drop submissions into a hat for a prize draw also guarantees healthy feedback.

Two Essential releases that will undoubtedly make the cut this year are Quilt’s ‘Plaza’ on Mexican Summer and Holy Fuck’s ‘Congrats’ on the Innovative Leisure label. Quilt have been a shop favourite for a long time and Holy Fuck are one of those bands that deserve a far larger audience; possibly one of the reasons we play it so often in the shop.


Amazon Music Unlimited Launches in the UK, Germany and Austria!


Amazon, one of the biggest online retailers is set to take on the music streaming giants from the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and Tidal with it’s very own newly developed music streaming platform Amazon Music Limited. The new service launched in the UK, Germany and Austria today, just 1 month after having first launced in the US.

With a boasting catalogue of 40 millions songs, Amazon Music Unlimited is now available on IOS and Android devices and both Mac OS and PC softwares. The new service has been launched as a standalone Amazon feature separate from Amazon Prime and Amazon Instant Video.

Prices will match those of it’s competitors at a £9.99 flat rate for non Prime users. Users that have an Amazon Prime account will pay £7.99 per month on top of their £79 annual Prime membership fee. Those with the newly launched Echo device will pay just £3.99 a month for the new service. Amazon will also be offering a 30 day free trial for users to test the service before subscribing.

Visit the official Amazon Music Unlimited website to see more information

Germany all set for YouTube Music Videos


Earlier this week, popular video streaming platform YouTube and German collection society GEMA reached a licensing agreement which will foresee music videos containing GEMA repertoire being available to view on YouTube in Germany for the first time in seven years where they were previously being blocked in this territory.

The deal between GEMA and YouTube ended in April 2009 which saw all music videos blocked on the popular video streaming website for seven years with music fans having to find alternative platforms to consume this content such as on VEVOs direct platform.

YouTube stated in a recently published blog post “This agreement reflects a long-held commitment that composers, songwriters, and publishers should be paid fairly, while ensuring fans can enjoy their favourite songs and discover new music on YouTube.” Making this a great achievement for music artists around with them now being able to reach and connect more personally with their music fans in Germany.

To find out more read the official YouTube blog here