Soundtrack To My Summer 2016

Hello hello!

Today I thought I’d share with you a few of the albums I’ve been jamming out to this summer. Every year, I seem to find a new abundance of insanely good records that keep me smiling (and singing) all throughout the hot summer months. Enjoy, and please tweet me your favorites this summer! 🙂

Life_is_ElsewhereLittle Comets–Life Is Elsewhere

This album is a few years old, but for some reason, I’ve become obsessed with it this summer. When it was released in 2012, I briefly gave it a listen after meeting the band at the Skype Live Studio in Portland. Although I did enjoy it back then, I have grown to like it even more over the past few months–definitely my type of music now. The album features echoey, booming choruses and witty lyrics that AllMusic claims “straddles the line between experimental art rock and dance-oriented indie pop.” I absolutely love all the tracks on this album, but my top three favorites are definitely “Bridge Burn,” “Violence Out Tonight,” and “Worry.”

poolsPorches–Pool

What first drew me to this album was the cover art. (It reminded me a bit of the style of my favorite band, The 1975.) The dreamy pinks and purple hues of the photo parallels the sounds of the record–the lead singer, Aaron Maine, posseses a funky, captivating, almost-lonesome-sounding voice and he is backed by some hypnotizing bass as well as snynthesizer. This album came out in February of this year, and is the band’s second studio album. With a sound similar to The xx and Beach House, this record serves as a great playlist for napping, studying, or just spacing out.

packshotBand Of Horses–Why Are You OK

Before the release of this album in June, I hadn’t listened to much of this band’s material. But when I started noticing the hype surrounding this new record, I decided to give it a shot…and I love it! According to Pitchfork, “much of Why Are You OK? was inspired by Bridwell’s experience as a father of four—recording all night and taking his kids to school looking like the ‘fucking scariest dad.’ Fatherhood teaches some to put their own problems aside and recognize what’s really important when other people are depending on you.” Each song on the album is spacey in a sense, yet each track seems to tie itself together through the band’s prominent guitar riffs, Death Cab For Cutie-esque sound, and lead singer Ben Briwell’s brilliant vocals.

the-rocky-horror-picture-show-51f816242f710The Rocky Horror Picture Show Original Soundtrack

If you’re not familiar with this popular cult classic, I encourage you to look up showings (with alive shadow cast!) in your city and check it out. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a 1975 musical-comedy- horror film which flopped when it was first released, has gained a massive following over the years. During my first year of college this last year, my best friend introduced me to the film, and invited me to a screening which featured a live shadow cast. After one show, I was hooked. The film, which stars actor Tim Curry, is fascinating, hilarious, and just plain entertaining. So naturally, I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat this past summer. Pretty sure my parents and sister are tired of me belting “Time Warp” in the kitchen.

emily-king-the-switch-lp-stream-715x715Emily King–The Switch

If you read my recent concert preview about the fab Emily King, you know how much I love this album. It came out on June 24th of this year. The record is climbing the charts through the record’s killer bass, simple-yet-deeply-emotional lyrics, and hypnotizing harmonies sung by Emily herself.  Emily’s has a unique voice that is both breathy and compelling, and just plain beautiful. Currently, my favorite track on this album is the sassy, yet clever “BYIMM,” (which stands for By You I Mean Me.) Check out the amazing video here, which features The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Tituss Birgess. (My fave.)

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The Vinyl Revival

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“As CD and digital sales decline in the wake of streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, record sales are on the rise. In fact, the format has seen 260% growth since 2009. While CDs sit on shelves, vinyl supply is having a hard time keeping up with demand. It may not have seemed possible 10 years ago, but vinyl is back.” —Forbes Magazine, July 2015

record playerFor Christmas this year, I got a record player. I had wanted one for months but wasn’t expecting to get one, so my parents really surprised me. It’s a Third Man Records turntable designed by Jack White, and fortunately, NOT a Crosley. (Crosley turntables tend to break within a few weeks or ruin your records with their harsh needles.) Since I started working in a record store last year, I’ve become fascinated with vinyl and the culture surrounding it.

Since receiving my first turntable, I’ve been working on expanding my record collection. So far, I own Language and Perspective by Bad Suns, Talking Is Hard by Walk the Moon, Revolver by The Beatles, For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver (my favorite one to spin), 5 AM by Amber Run, Quadrophenia by The Who, Wanted On A Voyage by George Ezra, and a few of my dad’s old records. I brought my turntable with me to college after Christmas break, and it’s attracted quite a few people into my dorm room. Since most people my age listen to their favorite albums on Spotify, my turntable has become a fun, unique (and nostalgic) way to listen to music in our dorm.

I love the experience of listening to music on vinyl. The slight crackle of the needle hitting the grooves of the record before it begins is one of my favorite parts, and I absolutely love watching the record spin…especially if the record is a picture (or colored) disk, like George Ezra’s album I purchased from a Record Store Day sale. (See below.)11951563_430420080485911_916543637205630510_o

I have come to love vinyl simply because it encourages the purchase of physical, tactile music. I  believe that the act of holding your favorite record in your hands before listening to it results in a unique, and overall more meaningful connection with the music.

Over the past year or so, vinyl purchases have expedited due to the current generation of teenagers and young adults who now own their own turntables. Honestly, I think that this trend first arose due to the aesthetic, visual appeal that vinyl and turntables present…specifically for posting to social media outlets like Instagram. Many young teenagers seemed to utilize posting pictures of vinyl as a way to get likes, since not many people were listening to music that way. Although this may have been the initial case, I think that vinyl purchases among young adults has evolved into a genuine passion for music and appreciation for the physical representation of a favorite record.

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Getting lost in record stores is one of my favorite things to do. I could spend hours browsing through records and examining album covers. Now that I have my own record player, I can actually buy albums to play…which is so much fun. If you have any suggestions of records that sound great on vinyl, please feel free to tweet me!

 

Photos of me by Kendra Siebert

HOW TO: Create a Music Time Capsule

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetLike I’ve said so many times before on my blog, music/songs can represent memories. Listening to a specific song can bring back so many good memories from various times in your life!

For this post, I decided to do a something a little different. I’m a very sentimental person, and I also absolutely love time capsules. I have so many hidden around my house–one from kindergarten that I’m supposed to open when I graduate from college, one for when I graduate from high school, and one I’m set to open in just a few weeks. Because I love time capsules so much, I decided to combine my love of memorabilia with my passion for music & its power to spark memories.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to create your very own music time capsule. You can decide to open it whenever you want–during a major life milestone, next year, whatever. When you open this time capsule, it will help you remember the music you loved and the memories that you made because of it. It makes your memories a bit more tangible, and is super fun to hide, then discover later. Read on to find out how you can fossilize your favorite artists and albums.

THE IDEA: If you’ve never made a time capsule before, the idea is to find a box or some sort of container, and fill it with significant objects that will spark memories when you open it years later. Ideally, you are supposed forget what’s in the box until you open it. Decide on a specific date or a certain year that you would like to open it, and mark it on the outside, then HIDE IT. Don’t open it, touch it, or peek until your target date.

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9 ideas of what to put inside:

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset1. Tickets from past concerts.

Collect tickets from a few (or one) of the best concerts you’ve attended. On the back, write who went to the concert with you. That way, you can call your friend and reminisce about that perfect night after you open your capsule.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset2. Concert & festival bracelets.

These are so much fun to look at years later. Try to save them instead of throwing them away after the concert/festival you attended. I kept my V.I.P. bracelet from when I met The Wanted.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset3. A lotion or small lip gloss that you wore the night of your favorite concert.

Scent evokes strong memories. One sniff of a perfume that you wore the night you met your favorite band will transport you right back to the moment you finally hugged them.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset4. Pictures, pictures, pictures!

Throw in pictures you snapped of your favorite singer on stage, at meet-and-greets, and of you and your friends after/during concerts. One thing that’s super fun to include: Pictures of your reactions after a concert, or after meeting your favorite band/singer. Make it habit to snap a picture of you and your friends after each concert–you’ll have genuine smiles and you’ll capture the excitement of the night on camera. (In the picture below, on the right, you will see a picture of my friend and me after we met Ed Sheeran. We were a little excited…)

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset5. Buttons, stickers, articles and other mementos.

Cut out an article of an interview or photo shoot with favorite singer, and include it in your time capsule. You’ll love reading it years later, and it will help you remember why you loved that particular artist so much. Stickers, buttons and notes are always fun to look at, too.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset6. Albums, album booklets, or a flash drive.

In 10 years, or whenever you decide to open this time capsule, the world may not be using CDs anymore. Putting your favorite album on a flash drive is probably good idea. If you want, though, go ahead and include a whole CD (if you can fit it inside).

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset7. Fan letters.

Make a point to scan and save letters you write to your favorite band member (before you give them away). Or you still have a letter for your fave that you hope to give them one day, consider putting it in your time capsule. (Obviously if you end up meeting the artist/band, you can still take it out and give it to them.) I scanned the letters I gave to The Wanted when I met them, and it’s fun (if a bit cringe-worthy) to read them now. 🙂

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8. A description of your favorite concert, or concert moment.

Write out your favorite concert moment, then read it out loud to someone who went to the concert with you when you take it out of your time capsule years later. Even if you’re not much of a writer, jot down some bullet points and key moments you want to remember.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset9. Tweets.

You know those embarrassing, adoring tweets you’ve sent to your favorite singers? Print them out! Have you ever gotten a reply? Print it out! You will LOVE seeing them years later when you open your time capsule. Plus, who knows if we will even have Twitter in the future? Your tweets will seem so “retro”!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Tweet me pictures of YOUR music time capsules! (@sophersc)