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Torn Light Records
356 Ludlow Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220
513-873-6995

Monday - Saturday
11:00AM - 8:00PM

Sunday
11:00AM - 5:00PM

Hannah’s Staff Picks

Scroll down to read an archive of Hannah’s staff pick write-ups.

  • Sleater Kinney – The Hot Rock
    $18.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Perhaps my favorite band, and this record as one of my favorite albums, period. Truly one of the great indie rock records of the […]

  • Pauline Oliveros – Accordion & Voice
    $28.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Awesome pair of compositions on this record by the essential Pauline Oliveros. Side A features a drone created through accordion and voice that gradually […]

  • Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising
    $23.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “One of my favorite records of recent years. These songs have intertwined with the lives of me and my friends, accompanying long drives on […]

  • Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: The Sea Of Split Peas
    $18.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Some of my favorite Courtney Barnett songs are on this record, and some of my favorite lines, compelling turns of phrase delivered in her […]

  • Bikini Kill – Reject All American
    $18.00 | , Add To Cart

    REISSUED!!! BIKINI KILL’s final studio album originally released in 1996 on Kill Rock Stars.  Bikini Kill was a feminist punk band that was based in Olympia, WA and Washington, DC, […]

  • Myriam Gendron – Ma Delire – Songs of Love Lost & Found
    $28.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “There is something about Myriam Gendron’s music that feels so old, not in a nostalgia trip way, but in a sense that the echoes […]

  • Jeff Parker – Forfolks
    $25.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Peaceful and clever solo guitar works from the versatile Jeff Parker. He layers an array of guitar techniques to create a calming yet engaging […]

  • Bobbi Humphrey – Fancy Dancer
    $26.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “I absolutely love Bobbi Humphrey, especially Blacks and Blues, and this record. Mellow, utterly soothing jazz funk. She is an incredible flutist, completely [...]

  • Echo & The Bunnymen – Crocodiles
    $22.00 | , Add To Cart

    Debut LP from Echo & The Bunnymen

  • Sandy Denny – Gold Dust Live At The Royalty (RSD)
    $26.00 | Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “An excellent RSD release this year. This record is of her last live concert before she passed away in 1978, never before released on […]

  • System Exclusive – S/T
    $17.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Initially, I gave this record a listen because I was very drawn to the cover (which is the impetus behind me listening to a […]

  • Nick Keeling – Queensgate CS (Pro-Dubbed Repress)
    $7.00 | Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “I’m pretty sure someone had the first pressing of this as their staff pick, but I think this repress deserves staff pick status too. […]

  • Aldous Harding – S/T
    $23.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Beautiful, sparse folk with an ache to it. I love Aldous Harding’s voice, which reminds me of the vocal qualities of the British folk […]

  • Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You CD
    $14.00 | Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “This one has been on constant replay for me since I heard it. A gorgeous entry in Big Thief’s catalog. In some ways, this […]

  • Wanda Jackson – There’s A Party Goin’ On
    $14.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “When it comes to people who I think have some of the most interesting voices in rock, Wanda Jackson is on that list. The […]

  • John Harrison – Day Of The Dead OST (“Zombie Rot” Colored Vinyl)
    $40.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Watched this movie last weekend, so I’ve got Day of the Dead on my mind. This soundtrack is truly top-notch, one that heightens the […]

  • Alan Licht – Currents
    $20.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Gorgeous acoustic guitar instrumentals, melodies are hidden everywhere within Alan Licht’s thick strumming style. This record will excite you and put you at [...]

  • Fela Kuti and Roy Ayers – Music of Many Colours
    $26.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Super collaboration with two greats, released in 1980 after Fela Kuti and Roy Ayers toured Nigeria together in 1979. Each side has one track, […]

  • Nancy Barile – I’m Not Holding Your Coat
    $15.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Awesome memoir about being a part of the Philly hardcore scene in the 80s. Barile’s story is deeply personal while also steeped in punk […]

  • VA – Psych Funk 101 (1968-1975)
    $34.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Awesome never-before-reissued tracks of late 60s to early 70s psych funk from around the world, sure to scratch any musical itch you have. Great […]

  • West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band – Vol. 2
    $25.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “A psych record with a little something for everybody. Across the record, there are tinges of folk, art rock, and Hendrix-style shredding, each track […]

  • Iota Leonis – The Third Star Of Right Wall Of Supreme Palace Enclosure
    $8.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “I get how the star system Iota Leonis inspired this album. Each track is as epic and varied as what’s in the night sky. […]

  • Trey Gruber – Herculean House Of Cards
    $30.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Heartfelt, laid-back rock tracks by Trey Gruber from Chicago DIY’s Parent. Compiled after his death in 2017. Sometimes I get Leonard Cohen vibes, other […]

  • Malagasy, Gilson – At Newport-Paris (2021 Reissue)
    $29.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Incredible jazz collaboration between Jef Gilson and Malagasy from the 70s, drawing from the avant-garde, funk, and traditional music. Every track is so unique [...]

  • Fifty Foot Hose – Cauldron (Psychedelic Swirl Vinyl)
    $25.00 | , Add To Cart

    2021 repress. Aguirre Records present the first official vinyl reissue of Fifty Foot Hose‘s Cauldron, originally released on Limelight in 1967. Cauldron is the legendary psychedelic jazzy [...]

  • Mark Shippy and Alex Cunningham – Ghost Note LP
    $19.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Gripping free improv guitar and violin. Shippy and Cunningham balance disjunct lines with moments of coming together incredibly, creating tension and release [...]

  • Colleen – Captain Of None
    $19.00 | , Add To Cart

    n Colleen is French multi-instrumentalist Cecile Schott, who uses her voice and the treble viola da gamba (a baroque instrument with gut strings), to weave intricate stories about the human […]

  • Emtidi ‎– Saat (Cargo Reissue)
    $28.00 | , Add To Cart

    LP version. 180 gram vinyl, gatefold sleeve. A reissue of Emtidi‘s Saat, originally released in 1972 as the 14th release on the legendary label PILZ. Producer Dieter Dierks prescribed the [...]

  • Rob Noyes – Arc Minutes
    $21.00 | , Add To Cart

    A dazzling display of 12-string melodicism, Arc Minutes is the second full-length LP from once New Englander, now Tokyo-based, instrumentalist Rob Noyes. If one had to pin an influence from […]

  • Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
    $19.00 | , Add To Cart

    Jenny Hval’s conceptual takes on collective and individual gender identities and sociopolitical constructs landed Apocalypse, girl on dozens of year end lists and compelled writers everywhere to [...]

  • Cleaners From Venus – Extra Wages
    $21.00 | , Add To Cart

    Parting is such sweet sorrow! We at Captured Tracks have been so honored to release the wildly expansive catalogue of Martin Newell and the Cleaners From Venus that we couldn’t […]

  • Pylon – Gyrate (Clear & Yellow Vinyl)
    $20.00 | , Add To Cart

    “In the late 1970’s Athens, Georgia was buzzing with a raw but sophisticated music scene. Traditional southern rock had been the Georgia musical export for years before but the turn […]

  • Julia Jacklin – Crushing
    $20.00 | , Add To Cart

    A couple tracks after hypnotizing the listener with Crushing‘s opener, “Body,” Julia Jacklin shares the relatable “Pressure to Party,” the perfect song for anyone [...]

  • US Girls – Heavy Light
    $22.00 | , Add To Cart

    “The highly anticipated seventh album by U.S. Girls, the protean musical enterprise of multi-disciplinary artist Meg Remy, will be released on 6th March entitled Heavy Light. While Remy has [...]

  • Big Star – #1 Record
    $27.00 | , Add To Cart

    Originally released in 1972, #1 Record is the debut album from Big Star, a critically acclaimed, Memphis-based band which is often credited with creating the power pop sound. Remastered from […]

Pauline Oliveros, Accordion & Voice

“Awesome pair of compositions on this record by the essential Pauline Oliveros. Side A features a drone created through accordion and voice that gradually shifts and adds dissonance as time progresses, side B continues with a drone, but with a folk-like melody on top of it. Completely peaceful and idyllic, music I’d like to stare at a landscape to.”

Sleater-Kinney, The Hot Rock

“Perhaps my favorite band, and this record is one of my favorite albums, period. Truly one of the great indie rock records of the nineties. S-K’s characteristic interlocking and sparring vocals + guitar is to the max on this record, two separate narratives consistently fighting for attention, yet complementing each other at the same time. This record is more downtrodden than their other work, so if you’re familiar with full-blast punk S-K, this one’s a little different. I also have to mention Carrie Brownstein’s guitar work, which I think is some of the best she’s ever done, intricate and restless lines that weave in and out of the spotlight. This record changed how I listen to rock and how I play guitar.”

Weyes Blood, Titanic Rising

“One of my favorite records of recent years. These songs have intertwined with the lives of me and my friends, accompanying long drives on Ohio highways surrounded by the expanse of the state, fighting its way out of a tinny phone speaker as we drink morning coffee in the kitchen, and on. It’s the perfect record for this. The sixties chamber pop feel of ‘Everyday,’ the ethereal synth landscape of ‘Movies,’ the instrumental decay of ‘Titanic Rising,’ the grand proclamations of ‘A Lot’s Gonna Change.’ It’s a record that meets you where you’re at.”

Wanda Jackson, There’s A Party Goin’ On

“When it comes to people who I think have some of the most interesting voices in rock, Wanda Jackson is on that list. The way her voice cracks with the “on” in “There’s a Party Goin’ On” is so cool. Simultaneously rough and sweet, Wanda’s voice makes you listen. Her vocals aside, this record is full of rockabilly tracks with those distinctive twangy guitars that all go hard.”

Myriam Gendron, Ma Delire – Songs of Love Lost & Found

“There is something about Myriam Gendron’s music that feels so old, not in a nostalgia trip way, but in a sense that the echoes of the past reverberate through her performances. Fingerstyle guitar, her resonant, no-frills vocals, and little more than that here and there. Straight ahead folk music for the die-hards.”

Courtney Barnett, The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas

“Some of my favorite Courtney Barnett songs are on this record, and some of my favorite lines, compelling turns of phrase delivered in her plain, bored-with-you drawl. The double EP shows some of her strongest songwriting abilities, with a fine balance of catchy indie rock and more aching singer-songwriter tracks. ‘I may not be one hundred percent happy, but at least I’m not with you.’”

Stereolab, Dots and Loops

“Picking one Stereolab record out of the slew we got in recently for my recommendation was a challenge, because each of their records has elements that make it distinctive and special. Ultimately, I landed on popular fave Dots and Loops. This one pulls me back time and time again, a brilliant amalgamation of Stereolab’s influences, futuristic lounge music that defies a specific place on the timeline.”

Jeff Parker, Forfolks

“Peaceful and clever solo guitar works from the versatile Jeff Parker. He layers an array of guitar techniques to create a calming yet engaging listening experience. Perfect to listen to during that time of the evening when you’re winding down but not totally ready to sleep yet.”

Bobbi Humphrey, Fancy Dancer

“I absolutely love Bobbi Humphrey, especially Blacks and Blues, and this record. Mellow, utterly soothing jazz funk. She is an incredible flutist, completely floating but virtuosic at the same time. This record is perfect for strolling down the street on a stifling summer night, or for laying in the park when the temperature’s just right.”

Sandy Denny, Gold Dust Live at the Royalty

“An excellent RSD release this year. This record is of her last live concert before she passed away in 1978, never before released on LP, and it’s a fantastic performance. The tracklist is a great mix of her solo material and work with Fairport Convention and Fotheringay. Her vocals are as emotive as ever, and the record also preserves her speaking between songs. Super special and bittersweet.”

The Feelies, The Good Earth

“The Feelies are awesome, and I love this record in particular. I could listen to their casual, laid-back acoustic guitars strumming away all day. But the excitement definitely comes in their more Velvet Underground-inspired tracks when those acoustic guitars build and build towards a climactic ending. I like putting on this record in the morning on a sunny weekend day when I blissfully have nothing to do and hours ahead of me that are all my own.”

John Harrison, The Day of the Dead OST

“Watched this movie last weekend, so I’ve got Day of the Dead on my mind. This soundtrack is truly top-notch, one that heightens the tension in the film’s stark, concrete bunker setting. While not every soundtrack is super listenable outside of the context of the film, that is not the case here. A riveting synth score! Plus, it’s always exciting to have the full score for a movie released!”

System Exclusive, S/T

“Initially, I gave this record a listen because I was very drawn to the cover (which is the impetus behind me listening to a lot of things for the first time). Now I’ll be brought back for more listens because of the catchy synth-pop inside the cover. Let the 80s-sounding synth hooks pull you in and then stay for the compelling songwriting and the vocals by Ari Blaisdell.”

Nick Keeling, Queensgate

“I’m pretty sure someone had the first pressing of this as their staff pick, but I think this repress deserves staff pick status too. Whenever I listen to Nick Keeling’s work, I’m entranced. This one’s got gorgeous piano melodies that weave around tape loop delays, carrying the ability to make nothing else really matter while you’re listening.”

Angelo Badalamenti, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me OST

“Angelo Badalamenti’s score for Twin Peaks plays such a huge role in setting the atmosphere of the series’ creepy and sleepy PNW town. The same holds true for his score for Lynch’s unsettling Twin Peaks film follow-up, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. All of the classic Badalamenti elements are here: muted trumpet, soft synths, and the occasional swelling strings. If you’re a Twin Peaks fan, add this 2xLP reissue to your collection and enter the Black Lodge…from the safety of your own living room, of course.”

Aldous Harding, S/T

“Beautiful, sparse folk with an ache to it. I love Aldous Harding’s voice, which reminds me of the vocal qualities of the British folk singer-songwriters of the 60s and 70s. This was her first record, and what better place to start listening than from here.”

Big Thief, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You

“This one has been on constant replay for me since I heard it. A gorgeous entry in Big Thief’s catalog. In some ways, this record is stylistically eclectic, but its sound is also so cohesive. These songs feel fresh and familiar at the same time. Another release from this year that I loved immediately, and an instant indie essential for me.”

Sarah Davachi & Sean McCann, Mother of Pearl

“Beautiful collaboration from this pair. Sparse, peaceful, and wandering compositions on pianos, guitars, viola, bells, and tape. You can feel each and every note with this one.”

Cate Le Bon, Pompeii

“This record is my introduction to Cate Le Bon, and the second I started listening, I knew I wanted it to be my staff pick. From her rich, dark vocals to the lush texture of wind instruments and guitars that kick off the record, I was sold. Art pop/rock fans out there, listen to this one. FFO Weyes Blood, Jenny Hval, Mitski. So stoked to dive into the rest of her catalog now.”

Alice Clark, S/T

“Beautiful soul record for the fans out there looking for a cult classic. Clark’s voice is super emotive and powerful, the driving force behind each track.”

Snail Mail, Habit

“In some ways, this is my favorite Snail Mail release. While I can listen to “Pristine” with the best of them, there is something so intimate about the songs on Habit. No matter what, that lilting opening guitar line of the song “Habit” just sticks with me. Habit has so much of what is characteristic of Snail Mail’s reverberating, hazy singer-songwriter sound, and it is a great addition to any Snail Mail and/or indie rock lover’s collection.”

Alan Licht, Currents

“Gorgeous acoustic guitar instrumentals, melodies are hidden everywhere within Alan Licht’s thick strumming style. This record will excite you and put you at peace. Fans of solo acoustic guitar music, take note!”

Mark Tester, Devington Circuit

“Delightful, burbling electronics, creating an intricate atmosphere of motifs. Recommended for fans of gentle, minimalist modern comp.”

Fela Kuti and Roy Ayers, Music of Many Colours

“Super collaboration with two greats, released in 1980 after Fela Kuti and Roy Ayers toured Nigeria together in 1979. Each side has one track, and listening to each one unfold over twenty minutes is part of the joy of experiencing this record. Fans of funk, Afrobeat, disco, and even more influences will dig this, and fans of Kuti and Ayers as individuals can enjoy their strengths together.”

Echo & the Bunnymen, Crocodiles

“Debut Echo & the Bunnymen. Downtrodden tracks that go nicely with these cloudy, wintery December days. We’ve got a couple used copies of this one on the site, so there’s plenty to go around.”

Nancy Barile, I’m Not Holding Your Coat

“Awesome memoir about being a part of the Philly hardcore scene in the 80s. Barile’s story is deeply personal while also steeped in punk history. I also love to read stories of how people become involved in DIY scenes, and Barile does a great job of moving chronologically through her life to show this progression. Barile goes on to become an educator, and I really enjoy her discussion of how being involved in DIY music makes her a better teacher, thinking about how DIY can inspire a more radical form of education.”

West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Vol. 2

“A psych record with a little something for everybody. Across the record, there are tinges of folk, art rock, and Hendrix-style shredding, each track never staying in one place for too long.”

The Millennium, Begin

“The epitome of sunshine pop. Psychedelic and bright, these songs are super catchy. While every song fits easily into the sunshine pop style, each track is very different from the one before, creating variety throughout the record. Definitely for fans of The Mamas & the Papas and The Free Design.”

VA, Psych Funk 101 (1968-1975)

“Awesome never-before-reissued tracks of late 60s to early 70s psych funk from around the world, sure to scratch any musical itch you have. Great grooves, guitars put through all your favorite psych effects pedals, strange song structures, and more.”

Jean Ritchie, British Traditional Ballads in the Southern Mountains, Volume 1

“An essential collection of some of Jean Ritchie’s performances. Her clear, high voice beautifully captures these Appalachian ballads in a way that you can’t forget. Most of these tracks are solo voice, so there isn’t too much of her iconic dulcimer playing on this record, but her voice can easily stand on its own. ‘Barbry Allen’ and ‘Hangman’ are two personal favorites from this collection. If you’re a collector of folk music, this is a must-have.”

Mark Shippy and Alex Cunningham, Ghost Note

“Gripping free improv guitar and violin. Shippy and Cunningham balance disjunct lines with moments of coming together incredibly, creating tension and release without the boundaries of convention.”

VA, Soul Jazz Records Presents No Seattle: Forgotten Sounds of the Grunge Era

“Very cool comp of lost and forgotten PNW grunge. Super gnarly, getting at both the driving hardcore-influenced parts and muddy, sludgy parts of grunge. If you’ve listened to your Mudhoney, Nirvana, and L7 records over and over again and want something fresh, dive deeper and check these bands out.”

Malagasy/Gilson, At Newport-Paris

“Incredible jazz collaboration between Jef Gilson and Malagasy from the 70s, drawing from the avant-garde, funk, and traditional music. Every track is so unique and keeps you on your toes. And Frank Raholison’s drums, especially on ‘Solo Frank,’ are unreal. Grab this first-ever remaster!”

Sylvia, Sweet Stuff

“Reissue of super influential Sylvia Robinson’s rare LP. Sweet, smooth soul. Brings to mind Millie Jackson through her style of alternating speaking and singing.”

Trey Gruber, Herculean House of Cards

“Heartfelt, laid-back rock tracks by Trey Gruber from Chicago DIY’s Parent. Compiled after his death in 2017. Sometimes I get Leonard Cohen vibes, other times George Harrison. Whoever his music reminds me of, Trey Gruber was certainly too individual to pin down.”

VA, Numero 95

“As a kid who grew up watching the Windows fish and brick maze screensavers loop infinitely, this record of 90s PC soundscapes is oddly nostalgic. Listening to this compilation is like being on hold with CompUSA or waiting for your Microsoft Encarta software to load. It’s the music you never noticed but you’ll always remember – synthetic and unobtrusive. If you’re into vaporwave, mood music, or anything obsolete tech related, this is the comp for you.”

Iota Leonis, The Third Star of Right Wall of Supreme Palace Enclosure

“I get how the star system Iota Leonis inspired this album. Each track is as epic and varied as what’s in the night sky. You’ll find lush orchestral textures, harsh distortion and everything in between.”

Experience Unlimited, Free Yourself

“Mind-blowing funk. The intro to ‘Functus’ can speak for itself. At times mellow, others fiery, Experience Unlimited’s debut is always incredible. A must-listen of the DC go-go scene and of Black Fire Records. FFO Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock, and Lonnie Liston Smith to name a few. Grab this reissue while you have the chance!”

Alice Coltrane, Lord of Lords

“This record grabs you from the moment it starts and doesn’t let go even after it’s finished. Grandiose and emotional, she carries you on a journey that’s unknown at each turn, but still feels comforting. While an emblem of spiritual jazz, this record is also for fans of late Romantic/twentieth-century modern orchestral composition (like with her nod to Firebird).”

Powers / Rolin Duo, Strange Fortune

“A mesmerizing release from this pair, which hypnotizes as well as captivates with gradually shifting textures on each track. Reminds me of the little changes you hear in Steve Reich’s phases. Strange Fortune is released on Astral Editions, the sister label to store favorite Astral Spirits.”


  October 8, 2021  |  Staff Picks