“My earliest memories of vinyl happened to be some of my most vivid and cherished childhood memories. Without a doubt, my favorite memories of my father involve vinyl. My dad had an old wicker crate that he kept all his records in. It consisted mainly of classic rock, nothing too out there but classics nonetheless. I remember opening it up to flip through the album art and inspect the intricate and unique inserts. I can even recall pulling the vinyl out of the sleeve and tracing my finger along the grooves, trying to wrap my head around how that could possibly produce sound.”
“Growing up, every night after my parents would put my sister and me to bed. My dad would pour himself a drink, dim the lights in our den, and listen to his record collection for hours to unwind in solitude. I would lay in my bed as long as I could trying to fall asleep while listening to the music from my room, always intrigued and jealous that it was past my bedtime. Eventually, every night after my mom and sister would fall asleep, I would sneak out of my room and ask my dad if I could stay up and listen to records with him.
To my surprise, instead of being scolded for sneaking out past bedtime, Dad didn’t mind and let me hang out. He’d play me all his favorite songs and was so blissfully happy while doing it. The ultimate test for my dad was if a song gave him the chills. He’d show me his arm covered in goosebumps after his favorite part of a song came through the speakers and my childhood brain was blown away at the power sound could have on us. I was hooked. These joyous late night listening sessions with him undoubtedly fostered my passion for all things music.
On one of these occasions, Dad put on the Oasis record (What’s the Story) Morning Glory. I must have been around 5 or 6 at the time. We listened to the first disc together and had started the second disc when he got up and left the room saying that he’d return shortly… I wasn’t sure what he was up to but I sat there waiting for him to come back so we could keep hanging out.
This night though, he never came back. He had ended up laying down with my mom and going to bed. I sat in the den alone, strings of colorful Christmas lights were twinkling all around the room and the record continued to spin. When the first side ended, I nervously flipped the record like my dad had shown me and to my surprise it worked and the music continued.
Looking back, this was the first time I vividly and intently listened to a record from start to finish. I was in awe. After the final track, “Champagne Supernova” (a forever favorite of mine) faded out, I sat there completely mesmerized. I remember wishing my dad would come back in the room so I could talk to him about what I had just experienced.
This was the first time I was exposed to the sensation of timelessness that music can create. To my childish brain, it was magic. The warm, organic sounds of the vinyl made the vocals sound as if they were resonating from right there in the room. The overall sonic atmosphere was haunting and unforgettable to me. The sound sent me on an emotional journey I was previously naive to, I felt like I had tapped into another world entirely.
Ever since then I’ve been fascinated by listening to and creating all-encompassing soundscapes that can hopefully provide others with this same feeling I hold so dear. Listening to vinyl with my dad was my first exposure to that world and those memories will always remain fundamental and precious to me.”
—Jordan Rose Brzezinski
“My first time encountering a vinyl record was when I was a little kid, maybe when I was 5 or 6, and I didn’t even actually listen to the records at the time, but I was fascinated by the bizarre artwork and people.”
“I was at my grandparents’ house, going through the old room of my father and my uncle. The upstairs of the house was full of many artifacts from their childhoods—car models, G.I. Joe toys, old board games, deer antlers, strange books, all kinds of stuff, but what attracted me was the big box underneath my uncle’s desk, it was full of tons of amazing records from the ’60s and ’70s that were owned by my father and his brothers.
I would sit there and pull each record out, staring at the strange images and the strange alien people in and on the covers. I vividly remember pulling out Darkside Of The Moon and being scared, and the original Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers record and being so confused, it was the one with a real zipper on the front of Mick Jagger’s crotch and behind it you could see his stained underwear underneath. I remember an old Fleetwood record before they added the ‘Mac’ to their name, and the records for the musicals Godspell and Hair, they all amazed me and excited my imagination. For me, part of the thing of the record since then has always been this thing you hold and you stare at and feel, it’s a tangible object that you can fixate on.
After that, I showed my dad the records and I was introduced to my mom’s as well, which I now own and listen to still. Some of my favorites that really I think gave me such a broad taste in different kinds of music were things like Queen’s A Night At the Opera, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Harvest by Neil Young, Carole King’s Tapestry, K.C and The Sunshine Band, and CCR. These records were like a portal into my mom and dad’s younger selves that they kept hidden in boxes waiting to be explored and remembered, something that always brought back tons of memories and stories from the both of them.
I know vinyl might not be for everyone, but for some people, it’s a great way to archive your feelings at memories in a tangible and physical way, like old family photo albums. I love the wide access to music that technology allows me, and there is more music for more people now more than ever, but I think we are seeing vinyl rising because people want to take those things that they find and like and save them in a real and tangible way, put them in a box to remember again some day, and maybe to pass down to others. To give them a reminder of moments and moods and feelings they once had. Obviously those feelings come from the music and not the medium, but my favorite part about vinyl is the ability to curate and store this evolution and change in you and your life. I think one part of vinyl love is rooted in nostalgia like I have for my parents’ records, but I think the other is in people wanting to create their own box of stories, and a new nostalgia.
By far my best memories and favorite times with vinyl are rifling through my cousin Luke’s great record collection and throwing on things I’ve never heard before. It reminds me of the first time I saw those records in my grandparents house, these little worlds these people have made and spent so much time and effort on. One of the strangest things about using something like Spotify all the time is that you forget things that you used to like to listen to, or you get stuck and can’t think of anything you really want to listen to. That’s why sitting down in a room full of records with some good drinks and trading off songs with somebody can be so fun, you explore things you forgot you liked and go places you may have lost along the way and forgotten about.
Vinyl costs money to buy and it costs money to make, and seeing that money come back into the music business is why the rising tide of vinyl is so exciting, it shows people care about the art form and maybe it’s not totally dead for the artists out there creating new records.
My favorite records that I own are new, things like the Knife’s Silent Shout and Black Mountain’s In the Future, so I don’t think that records are just a throwback to another time or a vintage craze. I don’t buy everything I hear on vinyl but things that I really find important to me I do, it’s a way of both supporting artists and hopefully ensuring that they will make more music for many years to come, as well as building a box of memories and nostalgia that someday I can share with others.”
Sexy Fights’ debut LP, Too Far Out will be released on March 4th via FeelTrip Records.