McLovins,
The TVD First Date

“I find myself in constant pursuit of nostalgia. If you were to ask me what I enjoy most about music, I would respond in a cluttered medley of words about how I believe it is the most honest way of expressing human emotion. As a songwriter, lyricist, and performer, I feel that my job is to transport the listener for a moment into a separate space as a spellbinding film or book would.”

“With that being said… I was rather stoned in the midst of a high school rebellious phase when I heard my very first record. It was mid-day at my buddy Dan O’s apartment in Hartford, CT when he placed a weathered Bob Dylan vinyl on this vintage record player. I don’t remember specifically what record it was, but I remember falling in love with music all over again.

Unlike scrolling through playlists on my iPod mini, this was different. It felt sonically organic in a way that allowed me to experience what listening to music might have felt like in and earlier time. I could hear the dust sifting past the needle as I watched the diamond glide across the vinyl like a merry-go-round. I remember asking Dan if the record was spinning fast enough, perplexed by how warm and slow it sounded. Needless to say, I was sold. My first record player was purchased that night.

The following day in between my drive to The Academy, (a performing arts magnet school in Hartford, CT) I made a stop at Integrity N’ Music in Rocky Hill, CT which was renowned as the best record store in the Nutmeg State. I moved slowly through the dusty isles, losing all sense of time as I sifted through mountains of plastic sheathed records and carefully picked the beginnings of what would become my first collection.

Each day, around 6:06 AM, I’d throw a record on and keep it spinning while I went about my morning routine until I was on my way out the door. The first records I wore in, were Buddy Rich Big Band, The Beatles Abbey Road, Earth Wind and Fire Greatest Hits, Weather Report Heavy Weather, and Pat Metheny Group Still Life (Talking).

Currently, I have found myself deep in a phase of listening to indie and/or alternative rock. I think the spark ignited during a recent trip I took to with my best friend and bandmate, Justin Berger. We stopped by Amoeba Music in Los Angeles and I went a bit wild—love at first sight, if you will. I ended up walking out of the store with Bright Eyes Four Winds, Beach House Cherry Depression, War on Drugs A Deeper Understanding, Bon Iver 22, A Million, and Lucius Good Grief to name a few.

I believe a vinyl record is a marvelous way to experience music and can be an unblemished lens into a band’s character. As I’m sure this goes for most people who frequent this site, I am someone who scours the casing in search for all of the Easter eggs, reading each liner note, studying the lyricist’s handwriting and writing style, being entirely consumed by each album. It feels exclusive, like I’ve stumbled into their world wearing an invisibility cloak and getting a behind the scenes scoop. Giving the listener access to a larger picture puts you a few steps beyond the physical music.

I’ve found that listening to vinyl has come to be more of a social activity in my life as well as a breath of fresh air in this digital-driven world. Aside from live performances, record players really set the stage for the most intimate way of experiencing music. Eyes shut with fleeting scenes playing in my head of romance, like laying with a lover softly entangled, as grooves of a record fill the darkened spaces of a room with a familiar analogue breeze.”
Jake Huffman

McLovins’ “People Say” EP is in stores now. The band plays the Gramercy Theatre in New York City on April 6, 2018. Purchase tickets here.

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PHOTO: STEPHANIE SACCOCCIO

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