Vinyl records aren’t just for grandparents anymore

I'm not a regular music maven, I'm a cool, vintage-loving one

One of the things that have piqued my interest again over quarantine is music. There have been a lot of really great releases from my favorite western artists and stellar comebacks from my favorite K-Pop acts, so I’ve been streaming bop after bop after bop. The modern music industry puts a lot of weight on digital streaming—the number of plays/views a song gets determines its success, making a huge chunk of music a purely digital venture. 

But something I’m also re-discovering this quarantine is the different non-digital ways to enjoy music. Driven by nostalgia and boredom, I dug up our old boom box and played my old CDs (yes, they still exist in our household), the ones I got back in elementary school complete with lyric and photo book inside the CD case.

The world is also seeing a resurgence of the vinyl record and the turntable, seeing a spike in vinyl record sales for the first time since the 1980s. If you’re like me, on the fence about purchasing old records, I’ve done the liberty of researching the pros and cons to help you see if records are for you.

The hunt makes it exciting

Looking for your next record is like treasure hunting, especially if you don’t have a set record in mind. Vinyl stores are a treasure trove of hidden gems—you’ll never know what you’re gonna get. Combing through records can help you broaden your musical taste since you’ll be exposed to a lot more artists while searching. Don’t sleep on word of mouth, too. Other treasure hunters can share some of their recommendations and most store owners would be happy to point you in the direction of your next favorite album. 

Valuable collectibles 

Vinyls are vintage and nostalgic, there’s no doubt about that. While artists from this age still explore vinyl releases, many records you’ll probably encounter are oldies but goodies. Lots of these records come from collectors who bought them at the time of release (meaning way back when), so you’ll own a piece of music history forever. If you have relatives who pass on their vinyl records to you, you’re guaranteed a story comes with that, too. Who knows, you might just uncover letters or photos from the past that can make the listening experience even more meaningful. 

Multi-sensory experience

Vinyl records give you everything—the look of album art, the feel of the actual disk, the auditory pleasure you get from the scratches and dips of the physical record. Vinyl gives a tangible musical experience that digital streaming cannot replicate. I love bringing my music with me everywhere I go (which is just inside of my house, I’m still social distancing), but to sit down and be in the moment with your favorite record playing is an experience all its own. Also, album covers as decor are the multi-use item of my quarantine redecorating venture—hello, vintage chic.

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