In rotation: 7/29/21

Sutton, UK | Interview: Behind the scenes with The Sound Lounge: It has been a week since the majority of restrictions on social contact were lifted in the UK, which has been a well anticipated time for the entertainment industry. After a year of group bubbles, limited capacity and restrictions on live events, entertainment venues have been granted more freedom following a year of hardship. For this entertainment venue, they were able to defy the odds and launch a successful business during lockdown. The Sound Lounge opened a new venue in Sutton during December 2020, and have a pop-up venue in Morden. Founders Hannah, of Sidcup, and Keiron, of Mitcham, were forced to put arts and culture to a halt after the government announced the third lockdown. …On Tuesday (July 27), we visited the popular venue, which not only provides live music but is also home to a community garden, a bar and a record store.

Indie Labels Address Vinyl Warping Due to U.S. Heat Waves: As customers report warped and damaged records, labels like Ba Da Bing and Joyful Noise are attempting to mitigate the issue. As punishing, dangerous heat waves have become a massive problem in the United States over the past weeks, one minor consequence is that vinyl record shipments are being warped by extreme weather. Ba Da Bing Records, which released the new Cassandra Jenkins album An Overview on Phenomenal Nature, sent an email to customers noting that multiple people had received warped records. The label offered customers two options in an attempt to mitigate the risk of damaged vinyl. …Other labels are giving customers advance notice about the possibility of the weather impacting records. Sargent House Records, the label behind albums by Deafheaven and the Armed, noted that the merch store it works with—Hello Merch—added the following language about weather to its Terms of Service: “Please be aware we DO NOT issue refunds or replacements for damage due to extreme weather conditions, minor cosmetic damage, such as corner dings, bends, split inserts, and so on.”

Strong Vinyl Record Sales Show Why Going Retro Helps You Stay Rooted: Vinyl is very much back in vogue these days. At the height of COVID-19 last year, vinyl sales exceeded CD sales for the first time since the 1980s. And this year, the first Record Store Day of 2021 saw over 1.5 million vinyl albums sold in a week, with more sales being tallied up after the second Record Store Day drop on July 17th. While around 85% of music industry revenues now come from streaming sources, this slow and steady increased interest in vinyl is notable. While several factors affect music consumption trends, vinyl endures for two main reasons. First, the music sounds better on vinyl, and second, it’s a physical product that can be handled. The reward is an enhanced musical experience, an earthy, intimate session with your favorite artist or band. But is physical vinyl just an anomaly in a virtual landscape? Or can other retro technology enhance our mental health and stimulate our physical senses in ways that screens and virtual content can’t?

Vinyl Sales Power John Mayer’s ‘Sob Rock’ to Number One: Pop Smoke’s Faith debuts at Number Two. John Mayer’s Sob Rock comes with an old-fashioned price sticker on the cover, as if it’s an LP from the Eighties, and it launched at Number One on the Rolling Stone Top 200 Albums chart thanks to deluge of old-fashioned sales—more than 56,000 copies, close to 22,000 of which were vinyl. (Due to the higher cost of vinyl, record sales have a higher weight than album downloads in the RS 200 chart.) Mayer’s first full-length in more than four years also earned nearly 27 million streams and more than 9,000 song downloads. All those album sales allowed Mayer to beat out Pop Smoke’s posthumous set Faith, which came packed with high-powered guests: Kanye West, Dua Lipa, Pharrell, 21 Savage, Takeoff, Swae Lee, Lil Tjay, and more. Faith pulled in 100.5 million streams, dwarfing Mayer’s total, and 9,400 song downloads. But the posthumous set lagged behind in sales, with just 3,600, allowing Sob Rock to overtake it. Interest in Faith also powered the previous Pop Smoke release, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, to move from Number 13 to Number 10 thanks to a jump in streams and downloads.

AU | Put a local record down: Challenge 5 mates to a local vinyl release: Local, independent niche record labels have been hit hard by the pandemic. From being unable to throw events and parties in celebration of their releases, delays in vinyl pressing and shipping, restrictions in income and a heap more, some of our most dedicated community members have been unable to spread their message of music. To spread some wholesome messaging and support local, we are asking you to shoutout your favourite local independent release. The task is simple, head to your Instagram story, and record a quick snap of you putting down a favourite local release from a local artist or record label. Off the back of it, tag 5 mates and @purplesneakers to do the same. Spread the love, energy and shoutout some of the quiet heroes of our independent scenes that are doing it tough this lockdown.

RS Recommends: The Best Shelving for Your Vinyl Records: These shelves will quickly organize your collection and keep your albums neatly arranged and protected as your record haul grows. Get your records off the floor, out of the closet, or off of that too-small bookshelf where they’ve been awkwardly sitting for years. These days, there are plenty of full-sized shelves available that can safely and securely hold your entire prized LP collection, giving you access alphabetically (or however you want to arrange them) to easily find the one you want to listen to, pick out, and drop it on the turntable. You don’t have to be an extensive collector either. Even if you’re just a casual record enthusiast, or inherited a bunch from a friend or relative, you’ll still need somewhere to neatly store these records to properly take care of them in the long run. The best vinyl shelving keeps everything in place and neatly stacked or organized.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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