This year’s most coveted Record Store Day release was The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, a collaboration album pressed on vibrant multi-coloured vinyl. Scoring this super-limited-edition release on April 21 meant waking up stupid-early, waiting in line, and praying that your independent record retailer of choice had a decent number of copies in stock. Luckily, just two months later, the album is getting a wide release, albeit with a less fancy exterior.
On first glance, this album, which boasts a diverse range of artists (from Coldplay’s Chris Martin to indie all-stars Bon Iver to obscure noise-rockers Lightning Bolt to Yoko Ono), may appear to have little in common with the nutty, proggy goodness fans know and expect from The Flaming Lips. Fortunately, their psychedelic stamp is not only present—it actually does amazing things to enhance the contributions from each of their wide-ranging collaborators. Who would’ve thought Ke$ha and Biz Markie would contribute to a song about tripping balls and the end of the world? (Well, maybe that’s sort of plausible.)
Here’s to an experiment that’s every bit a worthy successor to the Lips’ career-defining Embryonic.
Playlist Picks: “Helping the Retarded to Find God (feat. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros),” “I’m Working at NASA on Acid (feat. Lightning Bolt)”