Ashleigh Stone,
The TVD First Date

“There is a sound that comes only from the needle of a record player hitting the vinyl. It’s that silence beforehand and then, eventually, that first moment before the music when one can hear the little artifacts of dust, the crackle of vinyl. That is a sound like no other, and one that has always excited me since childhood.”

“Then there were the Jensen speakers my parents had connected to our record player. When I was a teen, they tried multiple times to sell them in garage sales, and each and every time I rescued them from leaving me. They sit unused in my living room to this day, but I exhibit them like trophies to the memories they hold within them.

My mother had what I recall as being a diverse but also impressive vinyl collection. There was everything from Little Feat, the Beatles, Linda Ronstadt, Clapton, and Michael Jackson all the way to the Let’s Disco dance instructional album and the very beloved family copy of the Reader’s Digest Christmas Collection. My favorite album, and an artist that I feel was never fully appreciated to her full extent, was Joan Armatrading’s Show Some Emotion.

I would spend hours listening and learning from these records, with that crackle, and those Jensen speakers, with such excitement that my mother to this day still suggests that some “mysterious scratches” must have come from me haphazardly spreading them all over the living room. I was always in such a rush to put the next one on that I never took the time to put them back in their cases until the very end.

There is an imperfection with vinyl—the scratches, the warmth, the occasional skip of the needle—that I welcome. In today’s digital, zeros and ones, perfection obsessed world, vinyl offers something of grace. It was a time without auto tune, without computers to perfect every single note and drum beat—and the raw humanity of those old records that still sit like a musical museum in my mother’s living room teaches me what is important in music, is the heart, the spirit, and the perfectly imperfect crackle.”
Ashleigh Stone

Ashleigh Stone’s debut full length release, Elements is in stores now via UpDown Records.

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