Aby Wolf talks records ahead of A. Wolf & Her Claws vinyl release party tonight
Photo Courtesy of Aby Wolf's Instagram
In this digital age of MP3s, BitTorrents, and Soundcloud files, music fans have consistently sought out a more personalized, intimate engagement with the songs and albums that move them, which is one of the main reasons why vinyl has seen a remarkable resurgence over the last few years.
Vinyl-loving fans of Aby Wolf and her new group, A. Wolf & Her Claws, will finally get their chance to pick up a copy of the band's self-titled debut on wax tonight as Aby and her talented crew are throwing a vinyl release party in the 7th Street Entry. It's been quite a lively summer for A. Wolf & Her Claws, as the group found themselves opening for Dessa on a string of high-profile dates, playing the Stone Arch Festival, the Basilica Block Party, and the Bastille Day Festival. The vinyl release party this evening should only add to the many musical memories that the band has shared with their fans over the last few months.
Gimme Noise was able to ask Aby Wolf a few vinyl-related questions before her big show tonight, and she shares what the process was like getting her album pressed, what records she has in her collection, and how her own album sounds slightly different when she heard it on vinyl for the first time.
Gimme Noise: What was the process like for you getting your album pressed on vinyl?
Aby Wolf: We made our album in collaboration with Eric Olsen and Scott LeGere, the fine gentlemen of NoWare Media here in Minneapolis. What started as a few friendly studio sessions turned into an entire record, and they approached us about releasing it on vinyl before we even talked about producing CDs.
For me, as a music fan, if I truly love an album, I will definitely seek it out on vinyl. What does it mean for you as an artist to get your music put out on vinyl?
I love the way old record sleeves smell and the way dust and scratches pop under the needle. I love finding details in 12" x 12" album artwork that CD packaging cannot fully render. I'm excited that A. Wolf & Her Claws albums will someday be well-rested, good-smelling artifacts to interact with.
Over the last few years, vinyl sales are the only figures that are steadily improving in the music industry. What do you attribute that to, and what is the appeal of vinyl for you personally?
While I don't have the muscular drive to be overly curious about it or surround myself with bookshelves of thin vertical sleeves, I respect the tactile appeal of vinyl. I get why vinyl sales are improving: buying vinyl is an investment in patience, and one that will mature greatly over time.
Do you have a working record player at home? And if so, what kind?
My roommate has an Onkyo turntable and a small collection of records, so every once in a while I will gingerly put a record on. Every time I put the needle on the record without dropping it or scratching it, I feel like I've nailed a free throw.
I still remember getting taught how to handle vinyl properly when I was young? Do you have any fond memories of listening to vinyl as a kid?
I am not going to pretend I'm an avid collector of vinyl. I grew up listening to cassette tapes and the woods, so I have a sort of distant fascination with vinyl. Vinyl is like that cool older cousin you saw every couple years at family holidays growing up; the one in the leather jacket who will always be taller and a little more learned than you can comprehend.
I think I can recall all the vinyl I've purchased--like, ever: a 3-record set of Lily Pons Coloratura Assoluta (French-American opera singer), a recording of Ravel's Bolero, The Lolliwinks (an amazing message-based children's record I listened to a billion times in my childhood--the singers' voices are all sped up and they sound like the Chipmunks), Littlefoot's new album Symbol of Love, and a Kate Bush EP. I also have one of Grant Cutler's 2012 albums that he gave me, but that still counts.
I truly believe that, when pressed properly, vinyl is the best way to hear recorded music. When you listened to your album for the first time on vinyl, did you notice any small nuances or subtle flourishes that weren't accentuated on the CD release? Did the vinyl sound better to you than the CD, or was there not much of a difference to your ears?
When I first played the test press of the Claws record at home, I was surprised to hear how different the vocals felt, how rich the bass was---it took a few listens through to adjust to the sonic range that hadn't been there on all the mp3 revisions and burned CDs.
A.Wolf & Her Claws vinyl release party is tonight at the 7th Street Entry. Basuketto, Omac Montainya, and DJ Makr are opening the night.It's an 18-and-up show, and doors are at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.
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