Jess Clinton,
The TVD First Date

“I had always been fascinated by the small stack of records in my father’s backyard recording studio.”

“I loved how big and square the covers were—being a kid obsessed with visual art at the time. The large black disc that slid in and out perfectly sized, and the smell of the slowly softening dust-jackets that clocked in with a scent just a few decades younger than the sweet musk of grandma’s house.

Dad showed me which of the LPs were those of his first bands upon moving to Los Angeles in the 1970s. Timber, the Volunteers, The George Clinton Band (copies of which can be found unseldomly and understandably miscategorized in the funk section of many a record store nation-wide). The soundtrack to a questionable 1980 biblically-inspired rock musical in which he had an integral part. In conjunction, this was when I first heard the term “cult following.” Eager to explore these new sound eras for myself, I was disappointed to hear that while the records remained, we had, in fact, no means to play them.

Dawning on Christmas 1999, I marched up to my mother and insisted dad get a record player “from Santa.” The records on his shelf reached through time in such a compelling way, revealing themselves as a tangible catalogue of a dad before my time. Lovingly supportive of the idea, she and I opted for a brown Crosley-style player from an upscale hardware store at the mall. We topped it off with a small box of 45s strategically placed nearby—hits of the Motown era.

That Christmas 20 years ago was most certainly a hit with dad—but more so perhaps, it jump-started my love of vinyl right then and there. It was interactive, mechanical, visual—an antidote to the progressive compaction of the digital age. Music you can hold in your hand. Today, I have a full system and a sizeable collection of my own.

Real Glass Heart will be the first thing I’ll have ever released on vinyl. I actively anticipate that first needle drop—the chords of the first tune once in my guitar now flowing through the needle and spinning out into the world.

It’s going to be a good summer.”
Jess Clinton

Jess Clinton’s Real Glass Heart arrives in stores on July 26, 2019—on vinyl.

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PHOTO: LIZ MANLEY

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