Tycho – "Dive"
Meanwhile, in Southern California, a graphic designer by the name of Scott Hansen is making music to put you to sleep/make you dance. I can't really figure out which it is, but it sounds amazing coming off the wax. His first release in 2006, "Past is Prologue," made waves with the bedroom rock audience (or as I term the genre, nap fusion), and gave him the chance to throw out a big release on Adult Swim soundtrack providers, "Ghostly International." "Enter Dive," is his big release in 2011. There are some moments in this album that will make you think he is legitimately a genius. I'm specifically referring to "Costal Brake" about 40 seconds into the song. Try to not get goose bumps. Think The Album Leaf mixed with shoegaze and synthesizers.
Why vinyl: As pointed out by others, Tycho spends an exorbitant amount of time making you feel like you are there at the time of recording. All of his synths and instruments are recorded analog, so the transition between mediums is pretty smooth. Plus, the needle dragging along the grooves makes for a perfect aesthetic on top of those sunset washed, reverb-y synth lines.
Listen if: You like dreaming, have thought about learning to surf or would rather be anywhere else than inside.
The Olivia Tremor Control – "Black Foliage: Animation Music, Volume One"
Anyone whose read a Wikipedia entry about indie rock knows about the Elephant 6 Collective. If you don't, it consists of bands such as Of Montreal, The Apples in Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel and Beulah. Started in Colorado by Jeff Magnum, they produced some of the greater works in the genre, some would even say, pioneering the sound. The Olivia Tremor Control was probably the least commercially successful, and coincidentally, worst named band from the label. I'm not kidding when I say they sound like the Beach Boys mixed with The Beatles. That's what it sounds like, but better. You'll be in shock how many of their songs you'll be singing after one listen. It's trippy, it's catchy and it's awesome on vinyl.
Why vinyl: Legend has it, the recording equipment available to OTC at the time only allowed them to record up to three minutes a song, and any songs greater in length had to be spliced in on their tape recorder. Congratulations, you've found one of the more interesting vinyl listening experiences out there, and all you had to do was read our article!
Listen if: You thought you were weird as a kid, think some indie pop band no one's ever heard of is too mainstream, or think banging on pots with stuffed animals is a viable way to make music.
The Velvet Underground - "The Velvet Underground"
For their third album, the eponymous "The Velvet Underground," the departure of art-rocker John Cale and producer Andy Warhol from the group allows for a soft, melodious feel distinctively different from the group's prior avant-garde rampages. Considered by many to be the Underground's finest work, this 1969 release is surprisingly quiet and contemplative, as if the band's previous recordings were documenting a manic, speed-fueled party and this is the introspective morning after. Full of narcotic beauty and wonderfully intimate, Lou Reed-penned lyrics in songs such as "Candy Says," "Pale Blue Eyes" and "I'm Set Free," listening to The Velvet Underground on vinyl will quickly make novice listeners understand why this band is unquestionably one of the most influential groups in rock and roll history.
Why vinyl: While listening to modern music on vinyl definitely has its appeal, most especially from an auditory standpoint, nothing beats experiencing the melodies of yesteryear in their most authentic form. This album was quite literally meant to be heard on a turntable. Stop by a record store and pick up a used copy—the occasional snaps and crackles heard on old vinyl only heighten the nostalgic appeal. Set down the needle and step back in time.
Listen if: You keep a journal, spend excessive amounts of time in used bookstores, or feel like you quite possibly partied at the Factory in a past life.
— Liv McConnell is a sophomore in communications. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.