These days, many see vinyl records as coveted relics of interest for a niche audience, though in fact international sales hit a two-decade high in 2014 with six million LPs sold in the US alone. While some chalk this up to a widespread vintage fetish, it may be that people have been missing the intimacy that a physical experience with music holds—something that digital music inherently lacks. That’s exactly what inspired Jeffrey Silverstein and Chris Muccioli to start Singles Club, a quarterly seven-inch vinyl subscription service that strives to bring fans closer to the musicians they enjoy most. Combining a limited-press record (membership was capped at 250 subscribers for its first year) with a corresponding digital music journal, Silverstein and Muccioli create a visceral world around each exclusive release.
As in underground vinyl clubs from the medium’s heyday, the two have a very hands-on approach to their operation. “We run everything out of Chris’ apartment,” Silverstein tells CH. This is of course no small feat, with each issue requiring track recording, long-form articles, video, photography, packaging and promotion. “Right now we’re handling everything ourselves with some serious support from friends and family,” Silverstein explains. “The subscription aspect seemed the best way to tie it all together and keep things moving at a steady pace.”
Singles Club comes out of the massive combined skill-set possessed by Silverstein and Muccioli, whose years of performing, booking bands and covering music have given them plenty of resources to draw from. Many of the artists they have worked with have been friends or people who they met through music; this includes Ted Feighan of Monster Rally, who will lead in Single Club’s second year as its first featured artist. “Ted was someone we’ve been interested in for quite some time, getting to know him via releases on his label Gold Robot,” says Silverstein. “We haven’t officially met in person yet, but I think we were drawn to how closely knit his visual art is with his sound. He does everything himself and also runs Valley Cruise Press which we love.” Feighan, who is a multi-media artist, has also made a special collage print to be included with Issue Five.
Year Two will bring some new developments to Singles Club, including the option to buy each record without subscription. But with subscriptions including a covetable collection of exclusive materials—a limited edition clear vinyl, an issue-specific print and a Singles Club pin, among others—included with each of the year’s four releases, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would opt to miss out. Singles Club has also diversified its artist line-up for its second year, experimenting with new musical styles. “I think we’ll be entering some new territory in terms of genres, which will hopefully open up the door to new subscribers,” Silverstein says. “Ideally this will be a nice cross over for listeners to discover some great new music.”
Images courtesy of Singles Club