By Stephanie Swart, Photo Editor–
There is something about the needle gliding across the grooves of vinyl that gives me an escape from the fast pace reality. It transcends me to a time when things moved more slowly; not a cell phone in site, just experiencing the music. The price tag for vinyls has a steep range depending on age and wear, but I have no problem excusing my frugalness when purchasing a new album.
I have always been intrigued by record players. There were piles of my mom’s old records packed away in boxes in the back of my family’s garage for years. I find myself having a deep desire to connect with the past, especially with my mom’s past. Whether it’s sorting through her photographs from her past life before I was introduced to her world, or listening to her tell stories of her adventures in Los Angeles in the 80s, I embrace the nostalgia for memories I was not even a part of. When I finally got my own record player in high school I went straight to the garage to search for the boxes of records. Success! I found the records and was so ready to play my mom’s favorite albums. My mom and I went through her collection and she shared her memories associated with each record. I could hear the wear and tear from the countless rotations the vinyl survived under the needle during my mom’s teenage years.
I prefer playing music on my record player over playing music on Spotify or Apple Music. When I purchase a newly released album on vinyl, I am an independent listener, not just another number lost in the counting of streams. There is a tangibility in owning albums from my favorite artists rather than only having access to a digital collection.
Listening to music on vinyl is an experience. It involves sliding the vinyl out of its album sleeve, placing it on the turntable, lifting up the needle and placing it as carefully and precisely as possible on the edge of the record. Used vinyl adds a whole other layer to the experience. I can hear every crackle and feel the memories from those who listened before me. When I purchase a record on vinyl, I am paying for the experience and the album cover art. This is a priceless package that I will always invest in.