I’m a magpie for pretty, aesthetic objects and the humble vinyl record is no exception. I was lucky enough to be gifted a record player/system for my twenty first and since then, have engaged in the thrilling hobby that is record collecting. Rummaging through both dusty second-hand stalls and high-gloss vinyl shops has become a fond pastime. I adore music and being able to hold a physical record, as cliché at sounds, really is incredible.
Here are some of my favourite albums that I can’t wait to get on vinyl and the stories behind why I love them.
Joanne- Lady Gaga
Back in the day, it was a sign that summer had arrived when Lady Gaga released a new single. Consequently, the summers between 2008 and 2012 have been embodied by her music. However, Joanne is an album that embodies the winter months and cold frosty evenings, summarising my life between October 2016 and March 2017. “Diamond Heart” and “Grigio Girls” were perfect for when I wanted feel all of the feels. “Hey Girl” instantly brings me back to my 21st birthday, with my best friends in my room attempting to do our makeup while drinking wine. “Grigio Girls” and “Angel Down,” are both melancholic in equal measure.
… Like Clockwork- Queens of the Stone Age
This album was my first introduction to Queens of the Stone Age and it literally changed my life. My love for alternative rock had returned and I embarked on a journey to listen to as much rock music as I could. In comparison to their other albums, …Like Clockwork manages to blur the line between emotional tracks and rock elements, which lends itself to the uniqueness of the LP. Too much time has been spent, hairbrush in hand, attempting to do my own (terrible) rendition of a personal classic. I came so close to being able to see them live but missed out. To this day, I still feel envy of a most peculiar level when I think of my best friend who did get to see them.
Far- Regina Spektor
Far by Regina Spektor truly is a perfect record. Her ability to balance a wide variety of emotions into an entire LP means she represents many different times in my life. As a fifteen-year-old coming out of an intense 3-year J-pop obsession (a tale for another time), Spektor introduced me to a world of thought-provoking lyrics and piano ballads. My personal favourite will always be “Man of a Thousand Faces”, simply for its surreal lyrics and melancholic tone. To this day, I can’t put my finger on what the song is about, but I remain confident in the storytelling. Winter evenings and summer days are tinged with the memories of listening to Spektor, whether on a bus towards school or at home, attempting to work through the pile of YA books I’ve committed to. “Blue Lips” inspired an entire character arc for a “novel” I wrote so wistfully when I was sixteen.
Stay Gold- First Aid Kit
I first started listening to First Aid Kit around 8 years ago, back when they had a relatively small following. I remember one of their most well-known songs hadn’t even hit 100,000 views. Since then, it’s been incredible watching them morph into the indie folk legends they are now. As you’ve probably gathered by now, I have an affinity for all kinds of melancholic music, which translates into a load of melancholic albums. Tracks such as “Cedar Lane” and “Stay Gold” epitomise the literary trope of the “Golden Age”, the longing for a time of happiness that has long since passed. When I truly began to connect with this album, I was feeling melodramatic about the fact that my first year at university was ending. As soon as the first notes play, I am instantly transported back to June 2015 and experience the same emotions all over again.
Aventine- Agnes Obel
I’ve always had an affinity for modern classical, and Agnes Obel is a modern composer like no other. From piano notes that sound like rain on a windowsill, to strings that can lift your very soul, Aventine embodies true human emotion and warmth. My history with this album begins around two and a half years ago when I discovered “Riverside” on a random music search. Instantly, I was infatuated with her calming voice and through-provoking lyrics. Since then, every single song on the album holds some sort of memory. “Dorian” reminds me being curled up in my tiny second year room on an insanely creaky bed, with my wall covered in tiny fairy lights while soft piano sounds come through a speaker. “Pass Them By” reminds me of walking through the rain, choosing to listen through my bulky over-the-ear headphones, rather than put my hood up.