The Accidentals,
The TVD First Date

“Right now we live in a world that craves authenticity. We’re always looking for truth, for reality, for a sense of realness. To me, vinyl is the real, bare-bones version of music. It pulls both ideas and imperfections to the surface. It’s something that you can observe with your own eyes, watching the needle palatably trace through the little grooves that, after touring almost 240 days a year, can start to look like thin roads in a map leading to the end of a side. When it’s finished, you simply flip it and start again.”

“The “analog” process of meticulously letting the needle float to the fragile surface of the record is something we don’t often get to experience in a microwave society. So, when I’m on the road, I order a record and have it delivered to my dad’s work, and he’ll leave it on the steps that go up to my room. Seeing those little flat boxes lining my staircase is one of my favorite things. I usually find myself listening to each record in turn while unpacking my bags. It’s like comfort food. It establishes a sense of finality and conclusion, and really makes me feel like I’m coming home.

My first experience with vinyl came from my dad, who taught me how to use it when I was eighteen—an age I felt self-conscious about, since I was just learning about vinyl. I’d been in plenty of record stores, but I mostly traced my fingers over the covers with the same overwhelming feeling of indecision that I got when I went to the public library as a kid. There was so much to know and such spontaneity to that learning; the sheer vastness of the vinyl world felt unconquerable.

My dad was really cool about it, though. He plugged the record player in and put on a record, pulled the needle back until it clicked subtly and the record spun. “This is the best sound in the world,” he said to me, as he lowered the needle. There was a little bit of nostalgic, static-y fuzz. For a second, I really felt his contentedness; I could almost see him rocking out to Led Zeppelin records in his youth, bending the strings of his old red Fender Stratocaster alongside those tones. Then Rick Astley blasted out of the record player, and my dad (whose name is Rick) literally Rick-rolled me.

Ever since that day, I dreamed and simultaneously became anxious about one day putting our own songs in vinyl format. I often thought about that grainy, warm tone as we recorded, thinking about how each song would fare on a little grooved disc that unabashedly exposed the underbelly of music production. The recording process of Odyssey started to feel like the static fuzz prologue that my dad spoke so fondly of—a moment tangibly heavy with heaps of uncertainty and anticipation piled upon it.

Even now, I only get vinyl if I’m absolutely head-over-heels in love with an album; if I’ve listened to it a thousand times and could listen a thousand more, still finding something new in each spin. I get an album if I want to file it into the cabinets of memory, right on the “home” shelf. For me, vinyl is a way of hearing music so closely that you literally have to babysit your record player so you can flip the disc to the other side in a timely fashion. It’s taught me patience in the process. It’s taught me to be present, to listen intentionally, to understand that imperfections are left in there for a reason—to prove that good music isn’t perfect or polished, but relatable and real.”
Sav Buist

“When it comes to music, I’ve always listened by letting the sounds wash over me before I pay attention to the details. I can listen to songs a million times and recognize all the reverbs and guitar riffs, and still fail miserably when I try to sing along.”

“When I was younger I grew up in a musical family, but the music industry seemed mysterious and impenetrable. I had no idea how records were made or what rock bands looked like in real life. I remember being fascinated with The Bangles album Different Light for the album packaging as much as the music. The cover has 16 “snapshots” of the 4 band members, and I would imagine the personalities of each woman and what instrument they played, creating elaborate life backstories for them and their songs. I would pull out the lyric sheet and try to understand the story arc of each song, even though at that age I was singing and dancing to the chorus of “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Manic Monday” in my living room.

Over the years the internet has dissolved a lot of that mystery. I can find lyrics, a band’s discography, history, or photos of them almost instantly after a google search. It makes me feel more connected to my favorite artists, I can easily be inspired and content is easier to digest. However sometimes the amount of content is overwhelming. There is still something special about picking up an album you’ve never seen or heard before and making the choice to let it guide you into an adventure. I’ve explored many record stores and bought albums based on recommendations, cover art, or dorky band names alone. Those stores are a place for tangible discovery, and many times vinyl I’ve bought are the background music for my chill time at home, cleaning, relaxing, or doing the dishes, and it’s important that they create the right mood for the metal space that I’m in.

When it came to mastering and sequencing our album Odyssey for vinyl, we put a lot of thought into the process. We spent a lot of time working to get the mixes right, we wanted it to feel natural and not over-compressed. When we got the test pressing for the vinyl we were so relieved that the songs sounded crisp and bright, and they carried a “ragged but right” live energy. It’s my hope that someone picks up our vinyl and mulls over the lyrics, our goofy faces, or that it becomes the soundtrack to a moment in their life, even if it’s doing the dishes.”
Katie Larson

Odyssey, The Accidentals’ debut release is in stores now—on vinyl.

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PHOTO: TONY DEMIN

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