The Brummies,
The TVD First Date

“Vinyl is a ritual. It’s a smell. It’s warmth and nostalgia wrapped in a tangible package. Something you can hold in your hands and be transported anywhere—any point in time, any period of your life.”

“My earliest memories of vinyl will always be waking up at my Mawmaw’s and going to yard sales with her looking for old albums. Flipping through the dust and deterioration, hit with the scent of bygone decades, enveloped in those weathered covers of artists I’d never heard of stacked out in someone’s front yard. Or in my dad’s workshop where George Jones, Tammy Wynette, and Loretta Lynn hung without fail watching over him on the walls, singing their heart-wrenchingly genuine sort of country as he worked.

My own collection began with what was to become my favorite record: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass’ Whipped Cream & Other Delights. I’ll never forget the day I first saw it. The back of some thrift store in Birmingham, and of course a beautiful woman covered in whipped cream caught my eye. Looking out at me mischievously with her finger in her mouth from the wooden bins.

I loved the production and arrangements, the melodies and overall feel of that record so much. Now it’s one of the most parodied album covers of all time—Sweet Cream, Sour Cream, Clam Dip, Spaghetti Sauce and all the other delights. I collect them all now. Any time I come across one, you better believe it’s leaving that record store or front yard with me… if it’s less than five bucks at least. Even more recently, when he was still a puppy, my dog Merle used to howl at the string section of “Lady Fingers.” And it’s memories like this that instill in something such a sense of significance in one’s life. These are the things you remember.

It goes without saying these encounters left a lasting impression on me. They propelled me into a life of music. From trumpet in the band in high school to shows at the Bottle Tree in Birmingham to see Beach House, St. Vincent, The XX, and Blitzen Trapper, to the development of my own career as a songwriter and musician in Nashville.

For my own band, The Brummies, having our music on vinyl is something that’s always been a dream. To go through the ritual with our own music we’ve poured ourselves into—to hold it, run our hands across it, pull it from the sleeve and experience something we’ve made in that tangible package. Our first opportunity came just over three years ago with the release of our first album, Eternal Reach. The pride and sense of accomplishment it gives one to hold his own work in his hands, gently put it on the player, drop the needle and take in what you’ve spent the better part of several years creating is a feeling like no other. Spotify plays are great of course, but there’s nothing quite like having it there with you in person.

The release of our second album, Automatic World, just last month has given us a second chance to relive that cherished ritual all over again. Our drummer Trevor’s photograph of my hands on the cover in John’s favorite mustard palette, another defined period of our lives pressed in canary yellow for the world to hold.

To give a bit of insight into my own way of taking in vinyl, our new record got its first spin on a Pioneer SX636 with the dual 1019 turntable, which has been souped up a bit, restored and packed out with some more horsepower under the hood courtesy of Aaron Hartley (@hartleymanages). When I’m out on the road touring, life is all digital, all on the move. But when I get back home, there’s nothing better than slowing down and putting on a record. An evening after dinner, a glass of Glenfiddich 15 neat or a bottle of Conundrum, the warmth of your own couch and the company of your dog—perfect conditions to take it all in.

In a world which prizes efficiency and convenience, naturally something that doesn’t lend itself to those pillars of modern life would lose its way. No, you can’t skip songs or carry it with you on your commute, but there will always be a place for the ritual. Like pour-over coffee in the morning or reading an actual book that you can smell and flip its pages, there will always be a place for the comfort of something so real and human.

Vinyl made its comeback because people are people, and we want something that lasts. Something that exists in a way we can soak up not just with our ears, but all those auxiliary senses that make an experience whole. Something you can hold on to.”
Jacob Bryant

Automatic World, the sophomore full-length release from The Brummies arrives in stores on December 18, 2020—on double yellow vinyl.

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