If there is one constant in my life, it’s music. Music has been an integral part of my life at different capacities for as long as I can remember. My parents and their parents before them have always been collectors of music, including a vast array of vinyl records passed through generations, and avid concert attendees. My dad has formed several bands over the years with his friends, and has been running his own radio show on our local public radio station for the past 11 years. I myself grew up loving music and wanting it to be a part of my life in every way possible. For the longest time I wanted to be a singer (never mind the fact that I was definitely not born with a gifted voice) and would perform for my family after our Sunday lunches. I was in Concert Band in my middle school years, which I enjoyed despite not practicing nearly as much as I should have. (Sorry, Mrs. Hovik!) I have never been without music for as long as I can remember.
Not only do I think of music as an important aspect of my everyday life, I pride myself on doing my best to be educated on a wide range of musical tastes. I can go from psychadelic 70s rock to the Moana soundtrack without blinking an eye. I’ve gone through my fair share of phases (looking at you, Justin Bieber and One Direction), and don’t get me wrong, I am definitely still a die-hard Directioner, but in more recent years I have really learned how to explore new (and old) artists and songs. If you looked at my Apple Music Library, you’d probably be utterly befuddled by my mish-mash of daily playlists. I can’t explain some of them either, but hey, they make me happy!
Today I wanted to share with you a little bit of a hodge-podge post that encompasses all of my love for music. My record collection, some of my go-to playlists for different moods, and some info on my new favorite vinyl shop that I just can’t get enough of.
My Record Collection
In the past two years or so, I’ve actually been able to build up a vinyl collection on my own. While iPhones make it easy to access any music in the world in a matter of seconds, there’s just something totally unique about listening to a record, especially because a lot of my favorite albums are from the 60s and 70s. I inherited about half of my collection from my grandparents and parents, and the other half I’ve purchased myself at various local vinyl shops. My little record corner is my favorite corner of my room.
I don’t have a huge collection just yet, but I’m definitely building up quite the stack.
On my most recent visit to the Vinyl Revival shop, I picked up four new records to add to my collection, including these two. Along with these, I bought Stevie Nick’s Rock a Little and Country Joe and the Fish’s Here We Are Again.
You can tell my love for Stevie Nick’s easily by looking at my vinyl collection. I have three of her solo albums and two Fleetwood Mac albums.
Another favorite artist of mine is Country Joe McDonald. I have three of his albums. I’ve been so lucky to be able to find these! His performances at Woodstock are also featured on my three-record Woodstock set.
I only own two records that were bought brand new, because they are current artists: Harry Styles’ Fine Line and 5SOS’s CALM.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have an original 3-record Woodstock album that I inherited from my grandad’s vinyl collection. It’s absolutely my favorite out of my collection, and it’s definitely my most-played too.
I actually took some of my senior pictures with this album, in case you doubted my love for it 🙂
Playlists for Every Mood
As I mentioned before, my Apple Music library might look like a little bit of a mess to some people. I have loads of downloaded playlists with all sorts of silly names to fit my different moods. Today I want to share a little snapshot of some of my most listened to songs in the form of playlists. Some songs you may have heard, some you may not, but I strongly recommend each and every one. I have a link to each playlist on my Apple Music account so you can listen along with me!
Small Town Sophia’s Pump-Up Playlist
This playlist is full of my go to songs for an early morning commute to work or school, or just to give you a little extra motivation. They aren’t all your typical “hype” songs, but they all make me feel confident and ready to take on the day, and I hope they can do the same for you!
Small Town Sophia’s Peaceful Playlist
If you’ve been around at all lately, you may have heard of the “cottagecore” aesthetic (google it). This song is inspired by those ~vibes~, bringing a little romance to everyday things like cooking, cleaning, or gardening.
Small Town Sophia’s Songs To Cry To
I know we’ve all been in that bad mood before where all we want to do is listen to sad songs and cry our eyes out. These songs are perfect for that mood. Each one of these songs is absolutely beautiful and can make me cry like a baby.
My Favorite Record Shop: Vinyl Revival
For a few months now, my dad’s been raving about a record store in downtown Athens, AL. It wasn’t until just recently that I was able to actually visit the store, and when I tell you I fell in love, I am not exaggerating.
Vinyl Revival is owned by Mr. Keith Montgomery, an Athens native. His store is a haven for music lovers. His walls are covered in vinyl band posters that he printed himself, and the entire store is full of records, 45s, and CDs. Mr. Keith is so knowledgeable about music and so helpful and kind.
The store’s records are separated out by genres, and each genre is organized in alphabetical order by artist, making it incredibly easy to find what you’re looking for. There are also several $5 and $1 bins where you kind find some gems if you are patient enough to hunt!
It’s so easy to feel right at home in Mr. Keith’s store, and I absolutely can’t wait to go back. Vinyl Revival also sells T-shirts, stickers, and masks. (I’m definitely picking up a t-shirt next time I go!)
If you are a local or are ever visiting near Athens, AL, I strongly strongly recommend you check out this amazing local record store!
Thank you all so very much for reading today! I hope I didn’t ramble too much, but this is a subject I’m clearly very passionate about. I hope you find something you connect with in this post, and I’d love any feedback! Let me know what you think of the playlists, and definitely give me and music or record store recommendations you might have!
Stay sweet, Sophia ❤
Thank you Sophia for the kind words!
Of course, anytime! 😁
The most important thing is to protect your hearing. Wear earplugs if you know it is going to be loud. I wear hearing aids because I listened to loud stereos, concerts, etc. when I was young.
Only handle records by the edges. The oil and dirt on your hands is not good for them. Discwasher will make them last longer. Ask your parents.
I LOVE The Invisible City. I record it on cassette and listen to it during the week.
My taste is pretty eclectic too. I’m beyond thrilled to see some Isbell and Prine on your lists 🙂
Those are two of my all time favorites!