Independent Music


Independent Music


Sullivan & Gold's Ben Robinson picks his favourite records

Comforting, emotional and soothing, Sullivan & Gold’s indie folk sensibilities have earned the group the tag of “the perfect soundtrack to falling in or out of love.”

Having released a live single in 2015 of the Irish folk band performing in SmallTown America, Sullivan & Gold are back in STA studios recording new material.

Independent music talks to founder member, Ben Robinson, about the vinyl influences in his life.

“Dad used to bring his record player down around Christmas time to play some of his LPs. To be honest, there wasn't much choice - The Wombles, Cliff Richard, The Sound of Music soundtrack ... however he did own a few gems like Simon and Garfunkel and Don McClean.”

“When I became part of the SmallTown America family a good few years ago, I used Independent Music, to help expand my vinyl collection. Heading to STA studios over the last few months to demo material for a second album has allowed me to make some great expansions.”

Some of Ben’s favourite records on Independent Music at the moment.

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

It was former Sullivan & Gold twin Adam who had talked to me about Vampire Weekend and to be honest I didn't initially get it. A couple of summers ago my wife and I bought tickets to Longitude; we bought the LP (with accompanying download) to listen to on the journey down. Needless to say after the gig, this album was on repeat for the whole journey home from Dublin to Coleraine. It's just full of stunning individual tracks and every song is a single, which is pretty unusual these days for an artist to be soprolific on one album. Favourite track: Ya Hey.

Villagers - (Awayland)

I think Villagers will be remembered as one of the great songwriters of our current generation, he's just got an incredibly distinctive voice and I love his phrasing of lyrics. Becoming a Jackal (his debut album) and Awayland should be in any person's LP collection.

I saw him perform some tracks off this album live and the track 'The Waves' just took off, to be honest I'm not sure the recording does it justice here. Awayland is the sound of an artist experimenting a bit and being adventurous, it's a little more electronic and dangerous than his more well known first album. Favourite Track: The Waves

Arcade Fire - Funeral

I remember my brother and I had listened to too much of 'The Joshua Tree' during our teenage years and found that everything required astronomical amounts of delay (not much has changed for me musically to be honest). He returned home from a semester at university in England with Funeral... I soon realised it's what U2 should have gone on to. Huge musical landscapes, evocative lyrics and enough emotion to make, even Chris Cassidy cry. Favourite Track: Wake Up

Local Natives - Hummingbird

As much as anything else Hummingbird is a beautifully packaged LP! This is something I realised was going to be pretty important when collecting vinyl - extravagant packaging and extra goodies you might find inside (posters,download codes etc) make a buy all the more exciting. The songs are fresh and exhilarating too. Dual vocals and dual guitars battle against some subtle yet pounding rhythms. Favourite Track: Colombia


First Aid Kit (The Lion's Roar),

The War on Drugs (Slave Ambient),

Robocobra Quartet (Iwazaru/Mizaru)

You can listen to Ben's picks on our Spotify Playlist.