Today we're giving away a vinyl copy of Caspian's Waking Season. To win, tell me why you prefer listening to music on wax. I'll pick a winner by the end of the week. Catch the band on its current tour as well - the dates are in the replies.
I love listening to music on vinyl because of how good it sounds in that format..the depth and the warmth you get with it over listening to digital music..you can hold it in your hands..and it's how my father grew up listening to his music and I love keeping the tradition alive in my own family.
It's so easy now to just download an album and listen to it. But you never really experience an album in that format. You can enjoy the music or admire the band, but you don't get the complete image of what the band was producing through that aspect. The connection with an album to me comes with the synthesis of the entire packaging of a record. I know I personally spend hours pouring into the band's art direction decisions on a record, whether or not they include a lyric sheet, whether they do a gatefold packaging or not, even what pictures they chose for the lining of the record. And of course, a record simply sounds better on vinyl. The tiny pops or cracks just add something to the feel of an album. The active listening aspect of it is appealing as well. Having to get up to change the record after the side is over has made me for receptive to listening to an album, instead of just putting it on as background noise
I like vinyl for a lot of reasons. For starters, I enjoy the subtle audible differences and nuances of an LP played through a nice set-up. I also love that these subtleties are magnified even more just by vibing out with a record on headphones. I grew up around vinyl being spun and am reminded fondly of my earliest musical memories every time I put a record on, which I feel connects me even more to the music.
There is something tangible about vinyl, as well, that appeals to my various quirks. I like to think that artists I love put real thought and dedication into everything that goes into presenting something on vinyl and so I enjoy music even more when I have an album, as if I'm getting more out of that piece of music or band more so than I would if I were just listening on my iPod or Spotify. It's fun to collect, pour over, discuss, and covet.
It's a physical copy that you can hold, not just a digital image on an iPod screen. And then there's the packaging, which is always awesome, whether it's a cool insert or a well designed lyric sheet. For color variants, there's never two of the same color (unless it's black or white). And as opposed to listening through headphones, you listen to a records through external speakers and just let it encompass you. You hear all the cracks and pops, and every once in a while a skip, which is always an attention grabber. Personally, I can't lay down and listen to a new album on my iPod, it's become a ritual to listen to new albums on my player. It really makes you listen a lot more closely, so that when it does come down to listening to an album digitally, you appreciate it all that much more. Having to go through the process of placing it on the slipmat, placing the needle, turning up the speakers, and hitting play, just feel right. My mom handed me down a handful of Springsteen vinyls, and the love (one might even say an addiction) to picking up a record and playing it for the first time is unbeatable.
EDIT: And I really like that I can play albums backwards and at different pitches with my player. My friends like to screw around with that aspect of it haha.
It sounds amazing. Is there any better sound than when the needle hits the wax? Also, they are often pressed in limited numbers which makes me feel like I am hearing a track or album in a way others may never hear it. Plus, I will actually listen to it unlike those kids that just hang them on their walls.
Buying the physical format not only supports the artist, but it adds a whole other form of art into the equation. One of my favorite parts about getting a new record is opening it up and admiring the visual artwork. Often you can make connections with the visual artwork and the lyrical content of an album, which is awesome. The visual artwork can open up your mind on so many possible ideas and concepts the musician was trying to portray in his or her music.
The art is my absolute favorite part, but I also love that when listening to records, you're actually listening. Often I will put music on on my laptop and then go do something else, it can become background noise. But when I listen to a record I am completely focused on the music. I listen and wait to flip it over. I get some of my best thinking done listening to vinyl because of this.
A) who doesn't like owning the largest physical format of a record you love?
B) you're in it for the journey: records are harder to change out/switch to your favorite song, so you end up listening to the whole record as an experience.
C) it's purdy.