There’s a corner of my room that’s gathering dust. It’s a place of artifacts—records that I started collecting long ago, promising I’d listen to each one. There’s the Paramore self-titled that I just had to have, a reissue of Wolf Parade’s Apologies to Queen Mary and even Taylor Swift’s 1989. All are pieces of me, a catalogue of the music I’ve loved through the years and the evolution of my taste.
Despite my better intentions, many of the records have gone unlistened. Some have gone unopened. I always meant to listen, but something would get in the way or it’s just easier to press play on iTunes when I’m checking e-mails for the hundredth time.
I’m constantly adding to my collection, but never consuming. I never saw the beauty in those physical formats, never looked beyond the sleeves, never realised the potential of a physical record until I was introduced to the work of Future Oak Record Company.I often sing the praises of this label far and wide, but I never really explained why I think what Future Oak is doing is so special. At a time when it’s all about getting the first edition of a record, when we’re spending so much of our time in cars or by computers, Future Oak is a reminder to pause, lift the needle and listen.
Future Oak makes limited edition records and each one feels special, demanding your ear as soon as it arrives. The artists they back, the songs they share are all pieces of something larger and beautiful. I’ve purchased my fair share of special and limited edition pieces, but Future Oak is different in their approach. From a wooden token holding the key to a digital download code to a split with a colourful, whimsical illustration—each and every record feels unique.For so long I’ve been caught up in the rush of collecting. I’m eager to purchase vinyl but I’m never eager to sit down and listen. Instead, I place the records in their bin, watching them gather dust, listening to their digital formats. But, upon discovering Future Oak, I felt something else—the desire to consume the music, to listen, fully, to be part of the magical world they’re creating. I’ve been encouraged to try new genres and sounds, to partake in their story.
After working as the editor/founder of a music blog for more than three years, it’s a rarity to find someone who has passion and genuine love for their music in the way that Future Oak does. It’s inspiring and it’s encouraged me to dust off my record player, get out those old vinyls and rediscover what I love about the experience of listening. I can close my eyes, quiet my mind and escape into the music.
You can peruse the Future Oak Recording Company back catalogue on their website, and see our previous pieces on their releases on the Future Oak tag. If you fancy writing something for us, get in touch via our Submit Words page, or just reach out via Twitter or Facebook.