March 15, 2016 10:20 am

Hipsters rejoice! Boy have I found the new, underrated, old school music delivery service that “you’ve probably never heard of.” VYNL is a vinyl membership program, think fruit of the month club but with records.

VNYL hand pics for you a series of records according to your musical taste. You make a profile and select a “#vibe” and according to that, the team at VNYL handpicks the record, or records, that will get sent to you for that month.

Now dear reader, I know what you’re thinking. *vomit noise*. “#” motherfucking “vibe”?! That sounds like the stupidest thing! Reader, you are totally right, it is. Also the name, VNYL? I know its supposed to be vinyl, but to me it just sounds like “va-nill”.

hipsterNow I am not anti-vinyl, I’ll admit I don’t have the romanticized idea that most of the vinyl lovers do, I am not very picky when it comes to choosing a way to listen to music. I love the vinyl sleeves and I think that they are amazing and hold great artwork that you don’t get when you receive a downloadable copy of an album. Just like I love the art that they had on some VHS tapes, you just don’t get that kind of stuff on Blu-rays you know? In any case, the point is that I don’t hate vinyl.

That being said, a service that recommends you records to add to your collection sounds like a service that no one needs. If I were to ever start a record collection I know that there would be a back catalog of over 50 years of music that I need. Beatles, Stones, Dylan, motherfucking Fleetwood Mac. Hell, even the Bee Gees. I do not need some recommendation for a small indie band from Portland that some little scruffy-looking, plad-wearing, quinoa eating, Father John Misty loving hipster from California loves. Not that I am against Father John Misty, the dude can fucking sing.

I understand what VNYL is trying to do, but I don’t think it is necessary. But since I am not paid to write about what I think, I will also tell you the good parts about VNYL.

It is a membership program that makes sense if you do buy that much vinyl, and if you are open to hearing new things. It is curated at a reasonable price, for something that unnecessary. One new record a month for $22 and three new records a month for $39, they’ve got two more rates but these are the most common ones. I mean, there are plenty of old record stores that have records for less than $2…I’m just saying.

At the end of the day, if you love vinyl and discovering new music and quinoa, then you will absolutely love VNYL. If you are me, you would probably take that money and invest in a Spotify account, which understandingly might not have everything, (fuck you T-Swift) but it has enough to hold you over and keep you from feeling like a pretentious fuck.

November 18, 2015 1:56 pm

If I were to take a wild guess, you, the reader, having ventured into our wondrous world of ATYPICALSOUNDS, might be into ‘indie’ music, which by that extension means, you might recognize this tune.

Washed Out Band Photo. Ernest Greene pictured.

The creative forces behind Portlandia didn’t randomly select that snippet as the backdrop for their sketch comedy roughly based around the ill-defined ‘hipster’ niche. Washed Out’s “Feel It All Around” was the anthem to a short-lived–yet indispensable–piece of nostalgia-injected ambient-electro dance pop that emerged circa 2009 that is referred to as “Chillwave”, often characterized by heavily distorted lyrics, synthesizers, and sampling.  Think Toro Y Moi Causers of This Neon Indian’s Psychic Chasms or Aerial Pink’s Before Today.

Washed Out is Athens, Georgia native Ernest Greene. He was discovered on, of all places, his MySpace account—which was still the social media mode of choice for most aspiring bedroom musicians at the time. Greene released his first two EPs High Times and Life of Leisure both within a short span in September 2009.  The former of the two was released via exclusively on cassette tape.  The latter saw a much wider release on Mexican Summer, a Brooklyn-based record company that specializes in elaborate vinyl packaging. Life of Leisure served as a major catalyst for Mexican Summer, which, along with Best Coast’s 2010 debut Crazy For You, was a hot commodity indie label at the time–and was certainly a major player in the vinyl craze that started around that time.  Greene next moved to Sub Pop where he released his debut full-length Within and Without in 2011 and followed up with Paracosms in 2013.

Thematically, Washed Out’s music tends to revolve around one central theme.  Look no further than his debut record cover.  That’s right: Love. Washed Out is a desperate romantic chasing after his muse. The titles of Greene’s tunes don’t really beat around the bush either; for example, “The Sound of Creation,” or “It All Feels Right.” His music is sensuous, immersive, and evocative, and at the same time, quite beautiful and dense.  Make-out music on a mild dose of psychedelia.