Inhaler Release Album, “It Won’t Always Be Like This”

Original Story by Harry Kantas / Aaron J. Sams (2021-07-06)

“Breathe in. Exhale. Thank you.”

Discovering new bands and new music can come in many different ways. There’s your favourite streaming platform and its personalised discovery algorithm, there’s the radio, and then there’s going out to gigs and discovering new bands for yourself. Inhaler is a young band that sort of hits a U2 fan’s “algorithm”. Bono’s son, Eli, is the lead singer of the Irish four piece band that formed in 2015. He is joined by Robert Keating (bass, backing vocals), Josh Jenkinson (guitar) and Ryan McMahon (drums). The band’s first release was on a compilation in 2017, Garageland Volume 1, featuring a number of up and coming Dublin bands, and they have since released a number of singles.

Photo: Inhaler performing Live (Photo by Harry Kantas)

That was enough to get Inhaler through the door for us. What got us to keep listening after that though, has nothing to do with U2 whatsoever. Inhaler has their own sound, their own influences, their own performance style.

The only direct comparison we can make to U2 really, is how both bands have been very professional, cautious, and protective of their work from their very early days. This week Inhaler will release their first album, It Won’t Always Be Like This. We are fans here, with a number of our team listening and picking up recordings as they are released. The new album campaign has had us intrigued. Is it a sign of things that U2 may try in the future?

Photo: Inhaler performing Live (Photo by Harry Kantas)

Inhaler signed to Polydor, a branch of Universal, a few years back. We are counting that they are releasing 17 different versions of the album, in many cases very distinct versions, with different artwork. There are eight different versions on vinyl, four different versions on CD, and five different versions on cassette. Additionally., depending on where you order you can choose between autographed and non-autographed versions of these releases, and different bonus gifts from postcards, tee shirts and posters.

Although U2 releases have gone through multiple releases over the years, we’ve typically had very similar looking releases in different countries and through different shops. Here with Inhaler the artwork varies wildly from one release to the next. From different colour covers, to different colour vinyl pressings, picture discs and even hand spray painted versions of the CD decorated by the band themselves.

Photo: Inhaler performing Live (Photo by Harry Kantas)

Coloured Vinyl Versions:

Photo: Inhaler in green vinyl for Irish retailers

There are four different coloured vinyl versions of the album. A special green vinyl version of the album is being released for Irish Independent retailers. It will come in a unique album cover with the band in yellow and green instead of in red and blue as is used elsewhere. The vinyl is green with black marbling. You can find this version at many Irish retailers who sell online. A total number being pressed in this colour has not been announced.

Photo: Inhaler in clear speckled vinyl for Independent retailers

Independent retailers elsewhere will also get a unique coloured vinyl. This time the vinyl is clear with red and blue speckling throughout the vinyl. The cover on this release also differs from the main album cover, with additional paint splashes in red and blue on the cover art.

Photo: Inhaler in red vinyl for Amazon

And if you choose to order from Amazon instead of visiting an independent retailer? You can find the vinyl in red with black marbling. The album cover in this case does not appear to differ from the main version of the album. The red vinyl is limited to 3000 copies worldwide via Amazon.

Photo: Inhaler in blue vinyl for the Inhaler Online Shop

Through their own online store, Inhaler are offering another variation on the album. This time the record is in blue vinyl, and there is a unique album cover as well. There’s an added bonus not available anywhere else. A special 7-Inch single comes packaged with this release, with two bonus tracks. Side A features “When I’m With You”, which is also available as a bonus track on the CD in Japan. The B Side features a song titled “Dublin” which appears to be unique to this release. If you are looking to buy multiple versions of the album, we highly recommend stopping by their online store. They offer a number of packages with multiple versions of the album, as well as some options which include autographed items.

Picture Vinyl Versions:

There are at least two picture vinyl versions of the album coming out.

Photo: Inhaler album, Art by Noel Fielding

The first features artwork created by Noel Fielding, known by many for his work with the comedy troupe The Mighty Boosh, but he’s also known for his appearances on The Great British Bakeoff. The release featuring Noel’s artwork sees him recreate the front and back covers in his own unique style. Additional art is featured on the vinyl itself. This version was limited to purchases from the UK and Ireland, or via Universal in Germany, and is said to be limited to 1000 copies.

Photo: Inhaler Zoetrope Vinyl, Blood Records

A second picture vinyl was produced in conjunction with Blood Records and is one of the coolest things we’ve seen. The vinyl features multiple images, which when played at the proper speed produce an animated effect on your vinyl. The rotation of the disc at the proper speed sees the individual photos combine in such a way the you can see the band move on the surface of the vinyl itself. These pressings by Blood Records, called Zoetrope pressings are a bit of a collectors edition in their own right. The Inhaler vinyl was limited to 1000 copies, and sold out in twenty minutes when pre-sales were taken a few months back. I’d love to see U2 play around with the moving artwork on a future release.

Other Versions on Vinyl:

Photo: Inhaler in black vinyl

Seventh on the list? Old faithful. Black vinyl. It will be stocked at larger chain stores worldwide, including the Walmarts and Targets of the world.

Photo: Inhaler special for Assai Records

And eighth? At least one store in the UK is doing a special version of the blue and pink speckled white vinyl. The shop Assai will be selling this version, mentioned above as an independent release. But the version they are selling will be unique with an added OBI which will be numbered. This version will be limited to 500 copies.

CD Versions

Although CD has been dying as a format in recent years, Inhaler does offer a wide range of options for those who prefer the format. There’s a basic version of the CD, featuring the regular cover, which will be sold widely. In Japan, the CD is being offered with a bonus track, “When I’m With You.” The track is only available on a limited 7-Inch via the blue vinyl pressing of the album on the Inhaler store otherwise. This is the only place announced to date to buy this track in a digital format. Amazon had an exclusive signed CD available, although it now appears to be sold out. That version featured a sleeve signed by all four members. The sleeve differed from the normal album sleeve, and appeared to be the same artwork as the blue vinyl which can be seen above.

Photo: Hand Stenciled Album

Perhaps the most interesting release on CD? A hand stenciled version of the album. These were on sale via Inhaler’s store online for residents of the UK and Ireland. Each is hand painted by the band. Thus each will be unique. Some will just be painted, other have added touches such as notes from the band, drawings and so on. These are limited, but a total number has not been announced. The stand alone CD appears to now be sold out, but it is still available with certain packages, such as one with a T-Shirt, or one with a cassette. Yes…a cassette!!

Cassette Versions

Photo: Inhaler album on cassette

There are five versions of the album coming out on cassette. One cassette for each member of the band. All four cassettes feature the same track listing, but the artwork on the cover is different in each case. Each member of the band is pictured alone on the cover of their cassette, using the photos from the full album cover. The Eli edition comes in blue, the Josh edition is in yellow, the Robert edition is in green, the Ryan edition is in red. The official Inhaler store offers both signed and unsigned versions of the cassettes.

All four cassettes also feature one band member on the spine of the cassette. And when placed together on a shelf side by side, all four make one bigger image of the band. How could you buy just one?

The fifth cassette was announced after we published the article initially. It is a limited edition cassette using the Noel Fielding artwork we mention above.

Other Extras

Not only are there multiple formats, but depending on where you buy the CD you might find additional extras. As mentioned above, Amazon in the UK offered a signed CD version. Autographed versions of the release were also available through the band’s store. Also on the band store are unique packages, including T-Shirt and a Poster. In Japan there are other extras as well. Early shoppers had the offer of an exclusive post card with the band on the front. Shopping via Universal Japan give you the option to possibly get an extra, the band’s signatures were being randomly packed with items. And at Amazon in Japan, there was a mini poster of the album sleeve (24×24cm) available with the purchase of the album.

Recently another young band signed to Universal, 5SOS, released an album which featured The Edge on a track. The campaign for that album looked very similar to the Inhaler campaign. Multiple formats of the album on cassette, picture vinyl, and CD. Autographs. Interview content. And the day of release, a number of other versions were announced. So what we mention above for Inhaler may not be the only versions being released. Another example? Taylor Swift’s recent album Folklore had 17 versions of the release on different physical formats including eight different CDs, eight vinyl records, and a cassette. Ariana Grande’s recent album had three different covers available for cassette and vinyl. The push for all these different versions comes from a desire to get units sold to count towards chart performance. The practice goes back a number of years. In 2010 for instance, Arcade Fire released their album The Suburbs with eight different covers. But the practice seems to be much more common now.

Why do multiple covers? It’s an attempt to sell more copies and to get a better chart placement. That’s also why you may see some of these exclusives limited to one area or another. The different versions may be an attempt to focus on one particular regional chart. The tie-ins with Noel Fielding and Blood Records are likely also tied to bringing more interest to the album. Noel Fielding’s art is starting to get more notice these days, and fans of it are likely to take notice of the Inhaler album. Blood Records, which is making the Zoetrope vinyl, is known for very highly collectible vinyl releases and have a strong following of their own, so once again releasing an album through those means brings more attention to the Inhaler album.

While U2 hasn’t in the past dabbled too deeply in these sorts of release pushes, the last time out they did do an extensive campaign where every ticket bought for a show in North America came with a free CD. All of these CDs counted towards the eventual album sales when it was released, and helped push the album higher in the charts. This sort of pack in with tickets has been disallowed from the charts after several years of artists pushing their sales upwards. So expect that U2 may visit some of these schemes when it’s time for the next album to be released. They’ve certainly been playing with various formats on their Record Store Day releases, releasing coloured vinyl, picture vinyl and more. It is our hope if they do go down this road, they don’t make things limited to region however, as that makes it difficult for fans to track down records. And seeing that Zoetrope vinyl? Would love to see something like that done for the band!

For those who are interested in more information about Inhaler, we’ve compiled a discography of their single and compilation appearances to date below. Their album It Won’t Always Be Like This comes out on Friday worldwide. You can order it here.

Full Inhaler Discography

I Want You

“I Want You” Digital Release
“I Want You” (03:46) / “Is She My Girl?” (Demo) (04:50)
Catalog: 00602508573552

“I Want You” CD Single
“I Want You” (03:46)
UPC: 1 92112 49324 2

It Won’t Always Be Like This

“It Won’t Always Be Like This” Digital Release
“It Won’t Always Be Like This” (Single Version) (04:06) / “Oklahoma” (Late Night Version) (04:23)
Catalog: 00602508573545 / 00602508574009

“It Won’t Always Be Like This” CDR
“It Won’t Always Be Like This” (Single Version) (04:06) / “Oklahoma” (Late Night Version) (04:23)
Sold at shows in March 2019.

“It Won’t Always Be Like This” 7-Inch Single
“It Won’t Always Be Like This” (Single Version) (04:06) / “Oklahoma” (Late Night Version) (04:23)
Limited to 1000 copies, RSD 2020 Release
Catalog: 868699

My Honest Face

“My Honest Face” Digital Release
“My Honest Face” (04:34) / “There’s No Other Place” (07:33)
Catalog: 00602508573538 / 00602508573545

“My Honest Face” 10-Inch Single
“My Honest Face” / “There’s No Other Place”
Limited to 1000 copies, RSD 2020 Release
Catalog Number: 868698

Inhaler EP

“Inhaler” EP 12-Inch Vinyl, Sold at shows, 500 copies
“It Won’t Always Be Like This” / “Oklahoma” (Late Night Version) / “My Honest Face” / “There’s No Other Place”
Catalog: INHALER001

Ice Cream Sundae

“Ice Cream Sundae” Digital Release
“Ice Cream Sundae” (03:43)
Catalog: 00602508195723

“Ice Cream Sundae” / “We Have To Move On” 7-Inch Single
“Ice Cream Sundae” / “We Have To Move On”
Limited to 1000 copies, RSD 2020 Release
Catalog Number: 867120

We Have to Move On

“We Have to Move On” Digital Release
“We Have to Move On” (04:12)
Catalog: 00602508478970 / 00602508479007

“Ice Cream Sundae” / “We Have To Move On” 7-Inch Single
“Ice Cream Sundae” / “We Have To Move On”
Limited to 1000 copies, RSD 2020 Release
Catalog Number: 867120

Falling In

“Falling In” Digital Release
“Falling In” (03:49)
Catalog: 00602507159337 / 00602507159351

“Falling In” Digital Release
“Falling In” (03:49) / “Fade Into You” (05:15)
Catalog: 00602507287160 / 00602507287191

“Falling In” 7-Inch Blue Vinyl Single
“Falling In” / “Fade Into You”
Catalog Number: 0743652
A black vinyl test pressing of this single was also used as a prize in contests. This commercial version was in blue vinyl.

When It Breaks

“When It Breaks” Digital Release
“When It Breaks” (03:40)
Catalog: 00602435361581 / 00602435361604

Cheer Up Baby

“Cheer Up Baby” Digital Release
“Cheer Up Baby” (03:53)
Catalog: 00602435796192 / 00602435796215

“Cheer Up Baby” Promotional Release (Digital)
“Cheer Up Baby” 03:53) / “Cheer Up Baby” (Radio Edit) (03:46)

“Cheer Up Baby” Digital Release
“Cheer Up Baby” (Eli Brown Remix) (03:54)
Catalog: 00602438412549 / 00602438412624

“Cheer Up Baby” Promotional Release (Digital)
“Cheer Up Baby” (Eli Brown Remix) (03:54) / “Cheer Up Baby” (Eli Brown Remix Extended Edit) (07:17)

It Won’t Always Be Like This

“It Won’t Always Be Like This” Promotional Release (Digital)
“It Won’t Always Be Like This” (04:04) / “It Won’t Always Be Like This” (Radio Edit) (03:31) / “It Won’t Always Be Like This” (Instrumental) (04:05)


“Totally” Promotional Release (Digital)
“Totally” (03:56)


Garageland Volume 1 Compilation Album
Featured “I Want You” on a compilation of up-and-coming Dublin bands.

Dirt 5: The Official Soundtrack Album
Featured “We Have to Move On” (04:10)

Alt Good! Compilation Album
Featured “We Have to Move On” (04:12)

Latest Indie Compilation Album
Featured “We Have to Move On” (04:12)

You Rock! Compilation Album
Featured “It Won’t Always Be Like This” (04:05)

Photo: Inhaler performing Live (Photo by Harry Kantas)

For more information about U2’s own discography, visit our detailed U2 Discography here.

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