There’s something about a record store. The smell of used vinyl, the obscure music played by the staff, the thrill of stumbling upon a long sought-after record, the warm conversation between strangers – it’s a beautiful thing. Those characteristics make record stores the soul of the music community where curiosity, nostalgia and joy are almost tangible. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what you look like, what you do for a living or where you’re from – everyone belongs in a record store.
Each year on Record Store Day, fans, artists and independent record stores all over the world come together to celebrate this unique culture. Conceived 10 years ago by a group of indie record store owners and employees, RSD has grown to become the world’s largest music event. With its exclusive releases, it has helped spark the resurgence of vinyl and has even been declared an official holiday in several cities. During the first Record Store Day, Metallica spent hours meeting their fans at Rasputin Music in San Francisco sparking the tradition of intimate in-store appearances and performances that fans line up for each year.
“I never, ever thought this would be my career,” says award-winning actress/director/producer/writer turned singer-songwriter Tara Beier. Although trained in classical piano for over a decade, it wasn’t until Beier immersed herself in the role of Buffy Sainte-Marie for her 2014 film Covered that she found an identity in music. The process of learning to sing and play songs on a guitar inspired her to write meaningful music of her own.
For her latest EP, California 1970, Canadian-born Beier let the ocean, sunshine, mountains and history of Los Angeles inspire her songwriting. With the intention of writing from a purely honest place, she weaves her personal struggles into universal truths. Positivity is a recurring theme throughout the record with lyrics like “We gotta love a bit better” and “I am enough, just to be alive” repeated like mantras. Surrounding herself with some of the best session musicians in L.A., she orchestrated an environment of musical expression that resulted in the free-flowing, organic rhythm of the record. Produced entirely by Beier at the legendary recording studio The Village, the EP presents airy alt-folk songs with psych-rock influences. California 1970 is the sound of an artist blossoming.
Today, Tara Beier premieres California 1970 ahead of its release date on Stories Behind The Songs:
Our WANDERLUST playlist was created for all of the free-spirited wanderers and soul-searchers who take the time to break free from routine and breathe life in. Curated with the good vibes of Ryan Adams, Lord Huron, Maggie Rogers, The War on Drugs, alt-J, Lana Del Rey and more!
Common Deer’s Sheila Hart-Owens performing for The Strombo Show | Photo: Vanessa Heins
Last month Common Deer performed a cover of Against Me!’s “Delicate, Petite, and Other Things I’ll Never Be” during their guest appearance on CBC Radio 2’s The Strombo Show. With their orchestral indie pop sound, Common Deer reinvented the song as a slow, stripped, haunting expression of the longing that lies within the original punk rock song. Two days after their cover aired on The Strombo Show, Laura Jane Grace (lead singer of Against Me!) tweeted to the band raving about their performance.
With festival season around the corner, we’re feeling those groovy summer vibes. Our latest curated playlist is filled with vintage tunes from the ’60s & ’70s and the best new wave psych-rock tracks of today. From Jefferson Airplane and The Doors to Dope Lemon and Temples, SPRING PSYCHEDELIA was made for your inner hippie.
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Canadian singer-songwriter Peter van Helvoort (formerly of Teenage Kicks) premieres the first of his solo work today on Stories Behind The Songs. Inspired by his childhood songwriting heroes Neil Young, Jim Croce and Cat Stevens, “Down On Me” is an intimate recording of a man documenting his time and the burden it places on its people. Rich in emotion and raw in its intensity, “Down On Me” is a fitting introduction to van Helvoort’s autobiographical songwriting style.
Peter van Helvoort shared the story behind “Down On Me” with Stories Behind The Songs:
“All of my music has always been very personal, perhaps to a fault, but I think this was probably the first song I wrote that kind of laid my faults out on the line in a way that wasn’t just about ME. The goal was to make an effort to show admiration for the person in my life who has to deal with the consequences of those faults. Throughout the song the response from my significant other is always the same, that person never comes down on me, their devotion never waivers.
I have a fairly significant back catalog of songs but I chose to release this song first because I think it really applies to the world we’re living in right now. We’ve been trained to live in fear, and this song tackles how I’ve personally dealt with that fear. When I really get sucked into a bad news day it makes me spiral and sometimes I can’t get out of that for days. This is the part that I hope can resonate with people, I understand the black holes that are depression and addiction. I’m my own worst enemy and it took admitting that I can’t face the darkness on my own to make it possible to have some good days.”
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Instagram: @doubledutchrec Twitter: @teenagekicksto