Lauren Lakis,
The TVD First Date

“Analog has always ruled my heart, versus its respective digital counterpart. Give me an old hardbound book over a kindle, 35mm film and polaroid snaps, and the warmth of a tape machine or record player any day.”

“Having been raised on tapes and CDs, my introduction to vinyl records came later in life, around the time I was writing my first album. I grew up first listening to my mother’s CDs: Natalie Merchant, Matthew Sweet, Boys II Men, and the entire Cranberries discography played on repeat in our Baltimore home. She was pretty hip to the ’90s music scene and was a big fan of the short-lived Lilith Fair.

Naturally, my first CDs were gifted to me from her boyfriend’s mother; Fiona Apple’s Tidal and Garbage’s debut self-titled album. I imagine she walked into a Sam Goody store and asked what the kids were into these days, and I’m so grateful they handed her those albums! I still listen to them today, and they certainly continue to influence my songwriting.

When I was a teenager in Baltimore City, we had this amazing music store called Sound Garden, where my friends and I would go every Friday night. We would save up our money all week just to spend it on iced chai lattes and used CDs, to hold us over until the following weekend.

I would drive around in my mom’s 92 Nissan Sentra, listening to CDs on repeat until they were too worn out to play any longer. My collection at that time consisted mostly of riot grrrl and ’90s alternative/grunge like Babes in Toyland, At The Drive-In, Jawbreaker…and some hardcore like Poison The Well and From Autumn to Ashes.

In the first meeting with my producer, he put Heart’s Dreamboat Annie on the record player while we sat in the studio, getting a vibe for each other and discussing sounds. He said he wanted to imbue my record with a little “Dreamboat Annie” and I was all in. The record collection at the studio was legendary, and we liked to play around with sampling them in unexpected ways.

We pressed that first album of mine Ferocious to vinyl, and if I could control how listeners experience it, it would be from the record player, at dusk, lying down with eyes closed, wine (or tea) in hand, totally immersed inside of the story. My upcoming record Daughter Language will be pressed to tape and vinyl as well.

Almost my entire present-day record collection has been gifted to me, which only adds to the warm, nostalgic feeling inherent to vinyl. I have records from other artists on my label’s roster, local artist friends in LA, and artists that I’ve toured with. I was gifted Tom Petty’s The Best of Everything from an old boss who worked in radio, and a rare Hole “Miss World” 7” from a record store owner friend who overheard how excited I became after finding Pretty On The Inside in his store.

Each record in my collection carries a personal story and human touch, and I can only hope that trend continues for the rest of my life.”
Lauren Lakis

“We’ll Be Fine” is taken from Lauren Lakis’ sophomore release Daughter Language which arrives in stores this fall—on vinyl.

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PHOTO: JACQUELINE MIYOUNG

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