Wonderly,
The TVD First Date

“Given what I currently do, my fascination with music began in a kind of weird way.”

“As a child, I absolutely hated pop and rock music. I loved just about everything else, especially anything featuring a piano. Growing up in the ’80s, I primarily listened to the radio or cassettes—I was that kid listening to Mozart or Mose Allison on a Walkman after soccer practice. I couldn’t stand Madonna, MJ, or any of that New Wave stuff. I would sometimes listen to Weird Al, but only because he was lampooning it.

At around 13, I discovered two things: Kahlúa, and my parents’ vinyl collection. Both had a profound impact on my life. My folks used to keep a bottle of Kahlúa right above the coffee maker… I’d sneak a bit and make a very weak cocktail with coffee or milk, go down to the basement, put on my headphones and listen to those records: Moondance, Workingman’s Dead, Blue, The Meters, Songs From Big Pink, Donny Hathaway Live. Drinking my grown-up drink and listening to those masterpieces felt like an act of rebellion, albeit largely in my own mind—my folks were actually pretty excited I was listening to their stuff.

My gateway into songwriting was vinyl, and I’ve always associated the ritual of it with the freedom of that music, of blue sky, of getting over myself. I still drink White Russians.

These days, music is something you have almost unlimited access to on your phone or computer. It’s not that special a thing to tell Siri to play your Spotify workout playlist. I mean, it’s a miracle of technology, but where’s the romance? One of the unique properties of vinyl is that every time you play a record, it degrades slightly. It’s not a lot, and not noticeable to most listeners. But it’s cool to know that every time you play a record, it’s a unique performance. It’ll never be exactly the same again. In its way, it’s a living artifact that dies a little every time you experience it. That ephemeral quality is profound.
Ben Landsverk

“I’ve always been in love with vinyl, especially 10-inch records, 78s. One reason I love them so much is that they’re noisy. Pops, hisses, crackles, mechanical noise—all part of my listening experience during my formative years.”

“It’s almost impossible to think of listening to that music without them. In fact, the first time I listened to a CD, I was shocked. Where was the noise, the hum of the motor, the life? It was like listening to music in a giant symphony hall, all alone, with no one breathing around me.

My favorite 10 inch records are by The Ink Spots… especially the pre-war Ink Spots, the original lineup. They were incredible singers, incredible players, inspired and ingenious arrangers. They had a problematic name, but they were some of the most talented musicians ever.

Before they released beautiful mainstream ballads like “If I Didn’t Care,” they recorded raucous, raunchy, visceral tunes like “That Cat is High,” “Shanty Town,” “Your Feet’s Too Big,” and so many others. I used to listen to these tunes constantly, and because they were always on 10-inch 78s, the sound of the medium became inseparable from the sound of the music. The Ink Spots have a lot of music available on CD, but it’s just not the same experience.

Vinyl rules.
Jim Brunberg

“Story We Tell Volume 1,” the new EP release from Wonderly arrives in stores on January 29.

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PHOTO: ANTHONY PIGEON

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