In the past few years, I’ve noticed vinyl records becoming popular again.

In a society that values portability and easy to use items, I find it interesting. So, why has something that isn’t portable become popular? For me, part of the draw was that record players are stationary, there are no headphones to buy and later lose or hate, because they’re uncomfortable. I’ve found that I stay more focused, and that the process of using a record player is grounding. But obviously I didn’t know any of that when I got one, I just liked the sound.

Lynn Spahr

The sound of vinyl is like nothing else. It fills a space, but feels more gentle than its contemporary counterparts. I love that the sound isn’t perfectly clear, the music almost has a texture to it that I find calming. There’s no shuffle, no hunting through playlists, no need to pay extra to listen without ads, you can just experience music.

Because I’m not looking for just the right playlist or hearing ads every few songs, I can stay more focused on what I’m doing. I can just put on a record and get to work. I only have to change sides or records occasionally, and not only is that a process I love, but it also forces me to step away from what I’m doing and take a break, even if it’s for just a few seconds. I can’t get distracted and start scrolling through social media.

There’s something so wonderfully tactile about the process of using a record player that I find grounding. After a long and possibly overwhelming day, it’s nice to come home and do something as simple as sifting through records. It’s something that helps me relax after a long day. It gives me a chance to decompress, and by the time one side has finished, I’m probably ready to get work done.

There’s also something wonderful about sifting through records in stores, getting to really see the cover art. It’s fun to collect the different versions of an album.

There’s something about vinyl that feels more real, more tangible, and maybe that’s its age. No matter the cause, it has allowed me to experience a deeper connection to the music.

Lynn Spahr is a freshman in general studies.

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