On Record Store Day 2023, which takes place this weekend, music fans will scour their local store searching for wonderful vinyl, curious cassettes, and plentiful hidden gems.
That’s because the family-owned store, located in the Hobart suburb of Battery Point, only sells music made by women. For a record store located in a country that has long seen its music industry dominated by males, it’s a small but significant gesture.
Run by the Carter family, Lauren and Oberon and their three daughters, Suffragette Records explains its mission on its website: “The music industry has been, and continues to be, male dominated. As a result, popular music (by men) often projects lyrics steeped in misogyny and objectification of women.
“To temper this, we want to celebrate great music made primarily by women. The lyrics and music made by women deserve greater recognition. Such music can be filled with power and passion, soul and sensitivity.”
And while excluding male musicians from your record store means your shelves miss out on a wealth of wonderful artists, it’s less of a pressing matter once you peruse Suffragette Records online store: Dusty Springfield, Donna Summer, Carole King, Taylor Swift, and The Cranberries are just some of the supreme artists that appear on the initial vinyl page.
Releasing on vinyl is also a major part of Suffragette Record’s business. “We love the pace of listening to music on vinyl. We love the way vinyl forces you to listen to the whole album, as the artist intended,” the website explains. “It requires you to get up and turn the side over, and actively participate in the music in a way digital formats cannot.
“There are no notifications or updates; no ‘snackable content’. Just you and the turntable, and the music the way it was meant to be heard. We love looking at the artwork on the sleeve, poring over the lyrics, and other information that you generally don’t get when streaming online. We love knowing the artist takes a larger cut of the profits from a new vinyl record than streamed music, supporting them to make more music in the future.”
It’s stringently individual venues like Suffragette Records – and the innovative Frying Pan Studios just up the road at Mona – that make Hobart one of the most exciting places to be a musician right now; the Tassie music community does things on its own terms.
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