Evangeline Gentle,
The TVD First Date

“The feeling of accomplishment I experienced after dropping the needle down onto my finished record for the first time was wildly incomparable to what I felt listening to it digitally. From the very moment I peeled the plastic off, I felt like I was at the beginning of some kind of ritualistic experience of “closure” in my life. The end of the greatest chapter was being marked by the closing track, sliding the record back into its sleeve and finding a place for it on the shelf amongst the rest of my collection.”

“After pouring so much labour, love and life into the music, I think it’s the ongoing interaction needed to listen to a record—the artwork size, the heft, the substance—that makes it feel like a more cathartic finish line. I’m not going to lie, though: How a round piece of plastic can be transformed into music is still one of life’s most enchanting mysteries to me. Of course I know how it works, but the fact that it works at all feels like magic and definitely contributes to my emotional response.

The sentimentalism I feel about vinyl is also hugely influenced by my fathers’ own relationship with and reverence for records. He’s an audiophile and his large collection of hi-fi magazines and stereo equipment was and continues to be the butt of many jokes in our family. I’ve known for my whole life that music moves me in a way most things don’t—but I was about 11 when I started really listening to music on my own and developing my taste independent of what my older sisters and parents were listening to.

It was around this time that my Dad sat me down in the chair he had placed perfectly in between two speakers pointing towards it in his listening room. He asked me to close my eyes and tell me where in the room Björk’s vocals were as we listened to “Venus as a Boy.” I felt like I was being invited into his personal world of listening to music. It felt intimate and in some way, sacred. From that moment on, listening to vinyl became a sacred experience of my own.

As far back as I can remember, vinyl artwork was framed on the walls of my childhood homes. Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Billie Holliday’s Lady In Satin, Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, and Ella Fitzgerald’s Like Someone In Love are just some of the records framed in my parents’ house. That has also become something my sisters and I do in our homes. You can’t value an album’s artwork in this same way when it’s shrunk from its intended 12” by 12” format down to what shows up on our phone.

From the perspective of the listener, consuming music via LP format will always make me feel closer to the artist and the music, and from the perspective of the musician, vinyl will always feel like the best embodiment of my work.”
Evangeline Gentle

The self-titled debut album from Evangeline Gentle arrives in stores on August 21, 2020—on vinyl.

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PHOTO: KRISTAL JONES

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