I don’t have a CD player in my apartment, and I have never owned an mp3 player. Sometimes a full week will go past and I wont have listened to music at home. I’ve always been the type of person that finds a band or artist and then obsesses with them for a while. This happened to me with Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, The Frames, Sigur Rós, The Strokes and Damien Rice just to name a few.
Since relocating to the U.S I seemed to have moved away from that pattern. Every now and then I will hear a single from a new band that draws me in, but I never really take the time to sit down and listen to their music. Like most people I will never have as much free time as I did when I was at University in Belfast.
Then something changed. I was gifted a record player for Christmas… and I couldn’t have been inspired more by a single act of kindness. Like a student again I have been taking the time to sit down and listen to albums, from start to finish. Classic albums like ‘Into the Music’ from Van Morrison and ‘Everybody Knows this is Nowhere’ by Neil Young. I have borrowed a few records from friends, and picked up a few myself in a little store in Park Slope called ‘5th Avenue Records & Tapes.’ Just last week I picked up my first James Taylor record. It was 50 cents and it was little dusty, but when I cleaned it up it plays like a dream.
I am not afraid to admit that I have never taken the time to get into The Beatles. Like most people I know all the singles, but not all the album tracks. My good friend Alan just gifted me ‘Let it Be’, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and ‘The Beatles.’ Can’t really go wrong with those three to be fair. The best thing about owning a record player for me is that I am going to open my ears to a lot of music, particularly older recordings, that would have passed me by otherwise.
With plans set in stone to record my debut album a few months from now I have been writing a lot. I know that music consumption has changed so much in recent years, but I still believe in the power of a good album. I want the songs to sit well together so that people like me can enjoy listening from start to finish, and who knows maybe i’ll get a few printed on vinyl…