Roman Lewis,
The TVD First Date

“My first memory of records was opening up this big cupboard my grandma has and finding a hundred of them packed on top of one another. I looked through it and didn’t recognise much so discarded them and forgot about it pretty quickly.”

“A couple of years later I got a record player for my 14th birthday. To make the most out of it I bought a record I had been listening to on repeat on Spotify called I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning by Bright Eyes. When the postman brought it to the door in its Amazon packaging, I couldn’t imagine the importance of the moment.

I went upstairs and placed the needle on the outer edge of side A and 45 minutes later I honestly felt like a different person. To that point I had never listened to an album in order. My listening ways were governed by that blasphemous shuffle button, but after finally listening to the songs I knew so well in the order they were meant to be heard, music for me was given a whole new meaning.

A song is a great medium for storytelling, but there’s only so much you can say in 5 minutes, whereas if you look at the song as the chapter and the album as the story, you can do a whole lot more.

After that experience, and the realisation of the power of the album, I started looking up what people thought the best albums of all time were. After doing my homework on the all time classics I was able to find my favourites and have been adding to my record collection with them ever since. Some of the highlights in this have been albums like Kid A by Radiohead In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel and Pink Moon by Nick Drake.

I have since returned to my grandma’s cupboard and stolen everything from Blue by Joni Mitchell to Hotel California by the Eagles. It’s nice to finally know what she’s talking about in her incredibly frequent “The Last Time I Saw Richard” references.

The album was created to be heard on vinyl, from the placing of the needle to the interval you get when you flip it, it’s all necessary. Most importantly though, it’s the physical nature of the record that does it for me. Knowing there’s an album on my phone that I can play and adore isn’t enough for me, I need to hold it, I need to feel the wave drawn out along the needle’s pathway that almost magically turns into that thing you’ve been craving all day. Just having them so I can look back at them in ten years time and laugh about how ridiculous my taste in music was.

The album is pretty much the only form of music I listen to, and vinyl is the best way to do this, with the lyric sheet in your hands and the album cover on your lap. Thank god it’s trendy again cos now I can just go to Brick Lane, get a bagel or two, and choose from hundreds or them at Rough Trade. I’m also trying to make it a tradition that wherever I go to play a gig outside of the UK, I buy a record that I had been obsessing over at that time in a local record store.

My record collection is getting fairly big now, and I’m a little scared the shelf I keep them on is gonna break, but that’s just rock’n’roll baby.

Long live the album and long live the vinyl!”
Roman Lewis

“Heartbreak (for now),” the debut EP from Roman Lewis arrives in stores on January 25th via Bright Antenna Records.

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PHOTO: HOLLIE FERNANDO

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