Sam Shelton:
The TVD First Date

“My first memory and experience of vinyl is actually of my mom’s own records that she recorded in the early 1960’s.”

“Carol Stromme was an LA based folk singer, playing regularly at the Troubadour and touring all over the world. She was briefly part of a group called The New Society which was a Randy Sparks project (of the New Christy Minstrels fame), and they put a record out called The Barock Sound, laced with flowery renaissance harmonies.

After that she made a pretty peach colored solo record called The Soft Sounds of Carol Stromme featuring feel good, psychedelic pop songs with choruses all about “…the Elec-lovin-tricity!” My sisters and I would always sing these songs at the top of our lungs, cracking ourselves up at what a hippie she was.

They were the glorious relics of her former life and were always kept around the house, despite the fact that we were mostly cassette tape-obsessed kids of the ’80s. Now, when I hear myself in recordings, I notice more and more how much I’m sounding like her “soft sounds.”

My own real love affair with records and all the warmth and texture they offered developed in my late teens. I’d scour the aisles at Canterbury records in Pasadena, and later Amoeba in Hollywood, but the best records I ever got were from weird small town thrift shops, or when some family friend would die and their box of records would come my way because I actually had a player.

I tended to cycle through Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, and The Beatles on repeat. When I sang in the band The Pretty Babies with Zooey Deschanel, I became more keen on finding rare old jazz and country records that we could cover songs from, like Sophie Tucker, The Shelton Brothers, The Ink Spots, Nat King Cole, and Kitty Wells. On one of my first dates with my husband, we had a dance party to the entire Spoon record Kill The Moonlight in my apartment. Something about the record spinning makes that memory more potent.

I currently love to listen to classical music, like my fave, Brahms’ Violin Concerto on vinyl because it adds so much to the drama and atmosphere. Now that I’m expecting a kid and my studio/ office is being turned into a baby lounge, I made the decision that my records would remain in their place because, in my opinion, records, like books, are vitally important to grow up surrounded by.”
—Sam Shelton

Sam Shelton’s new LP Reservoir, produced by Ben Lee, hits store shelves this month.

Sam Shelton Official | Facebook | Twitter

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