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

Soundtrack To My Summer 2015

Here’s what I’ve been listening to this summer!

Bleachers–Strange Desire

a18593e40fc82d3c71832d62ebf09336This is honestly one of the best albums I’ve ever listened to. Every time I put it on, I always find myself saying: “Oh my God, this is SO GOOD.” Jack Antonoff, former member of the band Fun, perfectly blends a nostalgic, seemingly old-school approach to music with modern, electronic bursts & guitar solos. The piano riffs, echoing, deep-voiced solos and intriguing lyrics make this album so unique, & definitely a must-listen for this summer. I have so many favorites on this album, but “Wake Me,” “Who I Want You To Love,” & “Shadow,” are amazing.

Amber Run–5 AM

24449This record came out just a few months ago as the band’s debut album, and since then, Amber Run has instantly become one of my favorites. There’s a perfect mix of slow songs about love & loss, mixed with fast-paced tunes about loving life. I’ve talked about how much I love Amber Run & their amazing harmonies in one of my previous blog posts, which you can check out here. If you’re waiting for Bastille’s new album, and need some similar stuff to listen to while you wait, 5 AM is perfect for you. Check out “Heaven” and “I Found!”

August Rush Soundtrack

500x500This is one of my old favorites that I dug out of my CD collection to listen to this summer. I recently watched the movie again, and it reminded me of how much I absolutely adore this soundtrack. After listening to it, I always have the urge to learn how to play guitar. There’s something for everyone on this album…rock to classical, classical to gospel, John Legend, Van Morrison & more. I recommend listening to it on a road trip or any other long car ride. It sounds amazing in the car for some reason…just make sure you watch the movie, too!

Alexi Murdoch–Time Without Consequence

e405_c353fff2cc908fb89ad7d9c293d1da9a_jpg-originalI love it when you can hear a singer’s accent in the way that they sing. Alexi Murdoch, a British singer-songwriter did an amazing job on this album, & you can definitely hear his cute British accent coming through in each song. The slow, meticulous guitar playing mixed with Alexi’s low, hypnotizing voice makes this a great album for pretty much any situation. A perfect soundtrack to a warm summer night spent outside, a train ride through the country, or just a good record to take a nap to. I’d  recommend this album for Hozier fans!

Walk The Moon–Talking Is Hard

TIHYou’ve probably heard Walk The Moon’s hit single, “Shut Up And Dance” playing on the radio quite a bit. Like Bleachers, WTM perfectly bands an old-school style of music with their own modern/ pop flair. This is such a summer album–every song makes you want to get up and dance. The drums, guitar, fast-paced beats, and unique vocals on each song makes this album SO fun. My two favorites are “Sidekick,” and “Avalanche.”

 

Mumford & Sons–Wilder Mind

mumford-sons-wilder-mindThis album marks a major turning point for Mumford & Sons, and I love it. You won’t hear any banjos on this album. (Although it sounded amazing on their last few!) With an alternative, fresh feel to this album, you may not even recognize that you’re listening to Mumford & Sons at first. When I listened to the intro to “Believe,” the single that debuted their new style,  I thought I was listening to The 1975. I think it’s great to see the band switching it up a bit! I love “Just Smoke” on the album.

Tweet me: (@SophersC) what are you listening to this summer?