Sisters of Sound owner says records provided comfort during pandemic

·2 min read

Jul. 19—The annual Record Store Day on Saturday capped a year when people turned to music, and new ways of listening to it, to get through an emotional time.

Sisters of Sound co-owner Sarah Cunnick said people found music a good distraction and something interesting to get into while spending more time at home.

"I think it helped so much," Cunnick said. "Music will save your soul."

Record Store Day consisted of two days of new special releases on July 12 and again on Saturday. One of the releases Saturday was a 3-inch vinyl single of "Beat on the Brat" by Weird Al Yankovic for $10. The single features album art and a poster by Garbage Pail Kids artist Neil Camera, who lives in Manhattan and signed autographs outside Sisters of Sound Saturday.

Cunnick said the line typically extends around the corner of the store's Aggieville building for Record Store Day, and while they say the line starts at 8 a.m. for the 9 a.m. store opening, some people show up early. Sisters of Sound regular Dan Clark said he arrived around 4:40 a.m. Saturday. Clark, who said he has collected vinyl for years, had his eye on some hard-to-find punk records that were being rereleased as part of Record Store Day.

"With the younger kids getting into it and vinyl making a resurgence, it's nice to come out and get new vinyl," he said.

Cunnick said they noticed an uptick in interest late last summer. They shipped orders around the country and even overseas. She said items would often sell as soon as they went on the store's website.

She said she thought it was something different to do while stuck at home as well as a way for people to support their favorite artists who couldn't perform live.

"Artists were putting out new stuff because they were sitting around," Cunnick said. "It seemed like everyone was putting out a new album."

She said it also was a way for people to keep their minds off the dark things happening in the world.

"I had a friend who was watching the news every morning and he stopped," she said. "He was like, 'I'm going to play a record. This is normal.'"

Sisters of Sound still requires masks and asks customers to use hand sanitizer when they arrive.

"We're one of the few stores where people come in and have to touch every single thing," Cunnick said.

Even outside of the pandemic influence, Cunnick said vinyl is continuing its rise in popularity, especially among young people. Cassette tapes also are making a comeback, she said.

"The young kids look at it as some sort of alien technology," Cunnick said. "I love blowing their minds. 'Do you want to see one play?'"

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