It would be wrong to suggest that ‘hipsters’ and the ‘hipster movement’ are a new sub-culture in society, but more likely a culture that is resurgent in these past few years. Safe to say they’ve been around since the early nineties in Greenwich Village, New York, and Berwick Street in London (still the home of the capital’s Record Store Day every April).
Now I’m fairly indifferent to the movement, and those involved with it. As much as I think it’s a bit out of the way to wear bobble hats in the summer and preach that you “knew this band before they were cool“… and though you’d love everyone to spend all their spare money on charitable givens, it’s totally fine that you drop a grand on that Fixed-Gear bike with the vintage leather and the minimalist paint job… yeah I’m indifferent.
But it seems without knowing it, the hipsters have managed to do something rather well, even if it’s a spare result of another cringe worthy action. Vinyl records are ingrained into the hipster manifesto as much as ankle bells for Morris Dancers and skinheads for… well Skinheads. This inadvertently has led to a huge spike in their sales. Just how big you ask? Lets take a look.
Well, from the looks of this article in the Forbes, a staggering 260% increase in Vinyl sales, has been seen over the last five years. Now whether you want to think this is due to the increase in the resurgent hipster community, or some other reason, is up to you.
For me, Vinyl records were and still are, a sign of a modern-day myth, a very good album. An album that deserves more than just to become another backlog CD in the glove box of your death wagon, or in the dark depths of whatever you have on your iTunes. For others, it’s a collection of decorative pieces that seldom see action in the corner of your living room, heck you don’t even have a Vinyl player do you?
The majority of this boom being a result of older album purchases, the likes of Pink Floyd and The Beatles – almighty in the hipsters arsenal. The era of the ‘Singles Chart’ could soon become extinct and we could be on the cusp of some astonishing music coming out. Not that there hasn’t been some great music out these last couple years, don’t get me wrong, but for me “Happy” and “Blank Space” and the plethora of other singles just doesn’t quite fit the ‘eargasm’ I want, need and frankly deserve.
For me, albums like Alt J’s (both albums) or Mumford and Son’s Sigh No More, they’re the sorts of albums we, as a collective of passionate music listeners and lovers, want. Of course this is good news for the music industry as well as those who listen to it. After all, these artists do deserve some money/respect for their art and ever since the early 90’s, we’ve all seen the drastic effect piracy has taken hold.
Now with these speculations about Apple Music not paying unsigned artists (not anymore thanks to resilient Taylor Swift to the rescue), and Jay Z’s failed Tidal app, it seems, as is always the case, that the future is up in the air for the music industry. However, what isn’t up in the air, is the positive effect Hipsters have seemingly had on the industry as a whole, and HOPEFULLY in creation of better music and better albums on the whole. Fingers crossed, and here’s forever hoping.
Words by Calum Warren-Piper