Before an actual album is released, artists pre-release tracks from their album.
Some of them get a bit adventurious and release them on 7-inch vinyl records.
It’s like a test of how much fans would be willing to buy their music in an expensive format.
Here’s a short list of indie artists who risked releasing 7-inchers and passed the test.
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#1. ARCTIC MONKEYS – TRANQUILITY BASE HOTEL & CASINO
The English rock band from Sheffield released their second pre-released single, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, for their sixth studio album of the same name.
Along with a music video, 7-inch vinyl records were pressed and released for it.
The single was accompanied with the then unreleased single Anyways. The black vinyl record was packed into single vinyl jackets printed with a man cleaning the carpeted floor of a function room.
#2. FOSTER THE PEOPLE – BROKEN JAW
Foster the People released their debut studio album Torches in 2011 and almost a year after that, they released a 7-inch vinyl record.
The record is a limited edition gold vinyl pressed with the tracks Broken Jaw, from the standard debut album, and Ruby, from the deluxe edition.
The artwork for this release had the same concept as the album. It has the same black and white drawing of people with things that give light colored in golden yellow (i.e. fire and flashlight).
#3. IMAGINE DRAGONS – FOLLOW YOU / CUTTHROAT
Imagine Dragons released their fifth studio album last 2021 and before that they pre-released three singles.
The double lead single, Follow You and Cutthroat, were released on March 12, 2021 in 7-inch vinyl records.
The artwork on the jacket is very memorable with the elements of both water (man with blue skin) and fire (woman with fire as her head) visible.
The artwork on the record’s center label is something too, a sketch of an eye.
#4. FRANZ FERDINAND – TAKE ME OUT
Take Me Out is the Glasgow-originating rock band’s second single.
It’s a well-acclaimed single and was even called “a work of sheer clanging wonder”. Along with the original version, a limited repressing of the famous Daft Punk remix of the single was made available on 7-inch vinyl records.
The records are housed by single printed jackets donning a brand new artwork.
#5. SUPERCHUNK – OUR WORK IS DONE
The indie rock band North Carolina released copies of limited edition 7-inch vinyl records for their new single Our Work Is Done. The single is accompanied with their version of Total Eclipse, a song originally recorded by Klaus Nomi in 1981.
Records were packed in single jackets featuring what seems to be a feline creature with a clock replacing its face indicating the time 9:12.
The proceeds from selling its copies went to non-profit organization 350. It supported Bill McKibben’s climate-change advocacy.
#6. SLOPPY JANE – MY MISERY WILL BURY YOU
As a celebration for the rock band’s 2021 studio album Madison, frontwoman Haley Dahl teamed up with former bassist Phoebe Bridgers to release the vinyl single My Misery Will Bury You.
The limited edition 7-inch vinyl records holds two versions of their track Wilt, side A with the original and side B with the stripped-back version by Bridger’s.
#7. NO ROME FT. CHARLIE XCX & THE 1975– SPINNING
Spinning is a single from three artists; namely: No Name, Charlie XCX and the band The 1975; of the British independent record label, Dirty Hit.
It was released on March 4, 2021 in baby pink colored 7-inch vinyl records. Side A has the original version while the other has the remix version by A.G. Cook.
The packaging is quite unique.
The only color that can be really seen on the physical album is the pink vinyl record. Everything else is in black and white.
What’s more is that the artwork is like those found in kid’s color books.
#8. THE 1975 – GIVE YOURSELF A TRY/LOVE IT IF WE MADE IT
The four-membered band released their third studio album, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, last November 2018.
Almost a month later, they released a limited edition 7-inch vinyl single holding the first two pre-released singles, Give Yourself A Try and Love It If We Made It.
Along with the limited edition was a copy of the special edition of Q Magazine featuring the band.
#9. THE SUBWAYS – TAKING ALL THE BLAME
The Subways trio released a 7” vinyl record in 2015 entitled Taking All The Blame which was accompanied by three other tracks, namely: Daisy Belle, Twin Freaks, and the live audio of Too Many Away.
The white vinyl record has a black and blue splatter design and is stored in a white jacket with the title of the single adorning it.
#10. KID KOALA – CREATURES OF THE LATE AFTERNOON
Kid Koala’s Creatures of the Late Afternoon is an EP released last April 13, 2023.
It consists of 4 different 7” vinyl records, each containing 2 tracks from the album, one album instrumental track, bonus scratch sounds, and 2 bonus board games tracks for his Creature of the Late Afternoon Board Games held last May 13 & 20.
The vinyl records are all in standard black and housed inside jackets with buildings as art cover.
If you want to create a good first impression for your upcoming album, why not try pressing some in a 7-inch vinyl single.
It helps you gauge how much your fans are willing to throw money for your music. But in case they won’t sell like hot cakes, at least they’re still cool on their own.