Brad Byrd, The TVD First Date and Video Premiere, “Highest Mountain”

“In 2006, a fan approached me about potentially investing in my music. While I was creating an album-based business plan for him, I was forced to think about the future of not only my music, but also the future of the music business. What was ahead for us? At the time, the fully digital listening experience was emerging (popularized by iTunes and iPods), and I had already grown weary of it. Sure, music was becoming easier to buy, share, and listen to on the go, but the classic album experience was rapidly disappearing. In the future, I could just see the value of vinyl coming full circle, and give the intimate album experience back to music fans.”

“So, because I wanted to have a different experience with how I acquired and listened to music, I went back to analog. I bought a $5 record player at a yard sale, borrowed my neighbor’s 1970s speakers and began buying vinyl to build my collection. I remember the sheer joy I felt when I first dropped the needle and turned the volume up—I was amazed that everything worked perfectly! No skipping, no issues. The sound was mind-blowing. I could hear the arrangement and the different instruments so clearly. They all seemed to breathe like never before and I could literally see the music. It inspired my to want to make records that sounded like that. Something warmer. Something that breathes.

The vinyl collection was steadily built over time (thanks to places like Mystery Train Records in Gloucester, MA) and I was proud of it. From Lou Reed’s Transformer to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, I was hooked. I loved smelling the inside of the vinyl sleeve and reading every printed word in the liner notes while listening. I thought, “This is the ONLY way to consume and listen to music.”

When I moved from the East Coast back to LA a few years ago, I gave my brother my record player and vinyl collection. It was tough to part with it, but there simply was no room to travel with it all. So, I started over. My wife and I decided to buy a 1962 vintage console record player (what a gem—just like what our parents had), and placed it in a little place in our house called “vinyl corner.” It’s one of my favorite places. The console sounds amazing and everyone that comes over the house just loves it.

My new vinyl collection has changed a bit though. Back East, I had more classic records from the ’60s and ’70s. Whereas now, I’ve found myself buying vinyl from current artists like Ryan Adams and Nada Surf. Outside of just enjoying these albums, they also provide a quality standard that I’m applying to my own new music. Sure, I’ll have digital download and streaming aspects to releases, but my main goal is try to achieve that warm and intimate listening experience for my fans.I want to give them a recording where they can really hear the arrangement while getting lost in the lyrics and liner notes. Oh, and hopefully it has that new vinyl smell too.

Highest Mountain, my soon to be released new record, is my first ever vinyl release and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m also super excited that The Vinyl District is premiering the first single, the title track “Highest Mountain” and music video right here! I can’t wait for you to hear it on vinyl.”
Brad Byrd

Brad Byrd’s Highest Mountain arrives in stores Spring 2017.
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