Music Stories: Collector's Edition

Take Care transforms into a cabin

A recent report shows that vinyl sales have once again experienced double digit growth in the last year.  As a longtime vinyl collector myself, I'm always surprised when others are surprised at something we at Wrensilva and many others have known for decades...vinyl is never going away because it IS the ultimate form of music collection.

While we live in an age of all-you-can-consume digital media there will always be something lacking in the strictly digital experience. Let's not even get started on the differences between analog and digital sound, that's a post for another time, I think the void is something's the lack of connection.

Owning vinyl records is more than just a way to hear music, it's a connecting experience.  Feeling the album in your hands; reading the liner notes; knowing the band members' names; listening to the songs in the artist's chosen order; admiring and wondering about the artwork and why it was chosen...these are all a part of the vinyl experience that brings us closer to the artists themselves and is something a computer or phone screen can never replace.

Bash and Pop vinyl Wrensilva BlogBash & Pop & Chutes & Ladders

And then there's the other connection: Collecting vinyl brings us closer to ourselves. I've been asked numerous times why on Earth I would ever want to collect and go through the "hassle" of records when I could just pick up my phone and play whatever I want. Even as a co-founder of Wrensilva, I will admit that I do that plenty.  It's a great way to discover new music for sure.

However, my favorite answer to that is that the experience of owning and playing one's favorite records is something entirely different from the supposed value of convenience. Outside of vinyl collecting, there are only two other things I collect: fine cookware and books. Having these crafted (and functional) things in my otherwise minimalist home brings me joy.  The mere sight of them brings me joy.  I use them, I play with them, I display them, I care for them.  Owning them outright as MINE brings me a satisfaction to which I think other otherwise non-materialistic collectors can relate.

Ambrosia pyramid Dust and GroovesAmbrosia pyramid   Photo: Dust & Grooves

I don't have numbers, but I once won a 'guess how many jellybeans' contest, so I feel alright saying 90%! of vinyl collectors are also book collectors or some other kind of collector of an item that most of the world doesn't give a hoot about. Why collect physical books when you can read them on your phone?  What.  It's because the experience is different in every way.  What I want to say (but I don't!) is that you can't pass your Kindle collection down to your kids... unless maybe you do not like them and that is just none of my durn business.

The Big Lebowski on Wrensilva BlogThe Dude Abides.  White Russian Vinyl

Looong way around, but one of the best things about the resurgence of vinyl's popularity is that nowadays record companies and artists actually seem to get what I was just talking about above, and are catering to the collector's spirit these days.  Not everyone is satisfied with the digital smorgasbord.  The vinyl quality has always been there, but in recent vinyl releases there is also a huge trend toward making the actual physical record and packaging creative and covet-worthy as art on its own. 

It's a great time to expand one's record collection or restart a long-forgottten one.  The extravagance and creativity being invested into many newly released records is off the charts and many of these albums are truly collectible.  The cynical may say 'of course, the record companies have to do something to compete with digital music', but that's fine.  Artists are getting greater rein to express their vision as a whole to consumers and what is being produced feels like a win-win for both sides.  Here are a few records that I have in my own collection and a few I hope to add in the coming years. 

Enjoy and Viva la Vinyl!
-Debra Salyer, co-founder and designer at Wrensilva

Urge Overkill Saturation vinyl on Wrensilva BlogViva!

Do you have a record in your collection of which you are especially proud?  Please share it with us at and win something if we share your story.