2020 lockdown saw the shutting down of concert venues, studios and record shops; hitting the music industry (amongst many other industries) pretty hard. With tours and concerts all cancelled, many turned to buying physical copies of their favourite and/or new albums: as a way to experience the music in a somewhat tangible form. This desire for something tangible amongst such uncertain times resulted in vinyl records outselling CDs for the first time since the 1980s (according to NME article).
But why vinyl? Surely more people have a CD player on their laptop than a record player? Well, not only does vinyl offer a “richer sound” (according to the music snobs amongst us) and nostalgia; it also comes nicely packaged in a 32x32cm card sleeve, complete with pretty artwork, on at least one side, for the consumer to absorb whilst listening to the record.
Many argue that album artwork is no longer apricated or valued in the same light as it used to be, in the 1980s for example. When streaming on album, on platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music, one can simply close the app to use another platform simultaneously. We very rarely look at an album cover for the duration of a song, nevermind the whole album.
Seeing the article on NME, about the increase of vinyl sales since lockdown, was one of the sparks the assisted the creation of my concept – re-usable, embellished, and unique textile record sleeves. I want to produce something that re-ignites the excitement of carrying a new record home and placing it on the turntable, as it crackles into life. Something a buyer can hold with the same level of value and want to show off in a similar light. Something tangible that can be proudly customised, worn and displayed to start conversations.
I could talk about music all day. I do talk about music all day. It comes as no surprise to anyone that knows me, that this is my concept for the project. Music is constantly on my mind and I am permanently in awe of its power. So, question of the day, what is an album that stands out to you? Could be the album artwork, time of life you listened to it or maybe one you simply just like?