Welcome to the new Sorry State Records web site!

So, you may have noticed that Sorry State has a new web site. We’ve been working on it for months now, and we couldn’t be happier to unveil it! While the web site should be pretty self-explanatory and easy to use, I did want to take a few minutes to let you know about the reasoning behind these changes.

In a nutshell, I thought we could do a lot better than our old web site. When we first opened the Sorry State brick-and-mortar store in October of 2013, I didn’t put a ton of thought into the store’s identity. For me, Sorry State has always been about the music, and hence the Sorry State store has always been about the records. Essentially, my philosophy was, “put good records in front of people and they will buy them.” I’ve always done my best to do achieve that goal, and largely it has worked as expected. However, in the nearly four years of running the store, I’ve also learned that a record store is much more than just a room full of records that people can buy. A record store gets its character from its location, its decor, and—perhaps most importantly—the personalities, values, and aesthetics of the people who work there. As our vision for Sorry State has continued to evolve, I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with the many ways in which our web site fails to communicate these things. Just as a record store is more than just a bunch of records for sale, so should an online store be more than just a list of records that you can buy and have delivered through the mail. However, that’s what most record stores’ and distros’ web sites (including our old one) look like: a list of records.

With the new site, we aim to give Sorry State’s web presence more of a personal touch, which not only better represents who we are, but hopefully will also make it easier for you to find more music that you love. The new web site puts our writing (like this very post you’re reading) front and center. Our vision for the site is to be something like a combination of a really good music magazine / blog and a great webstore. Not only will we continue to do a great job selling music, but hopefully our writing will help you to see more connections between the various records and cassettes we sell, allowing you to find more music that you like and deepening your knowledge and appreciation of what you already love. We’re hoping that the site is something you’ll want to visit often, hopefully even every day. We’re also hoping that more than just record nerds visit the web site, since it’ll be a great place to find out about new music whether or not you’re actually purchasing physical copies from Sorry State. Maybe even a few non-record nerds will be converted into record nerds by reading the stuff we post. This is work that we’ve been doing for years in our email newsletter (which you should subscribe to if you don’t already), but hopefully this new web site will do that job even better.

We’ve also chosen to embrace streaming music with the new design. A year or so ago we started a blog called Hot Track Alert where we post streaming links to individual songs along with a few scattered thoughts about why we like the track. The positive response to the Hot Track Alert blog has been overwhelming. Our plan is to included embedded music players from BandCamp, SoundCloud, Spotify, and YouTube throughout the site. If you’re ever sitting around and thinking “I want something new to listen to,” we want Sorry State to be the site you visit.

If you like reading our blog and newsletter content you’ll love our new web site, but we’ve tried to make this site a better experience for the rest of you as well. We’re still adding new records to the site almost every single day, and the new site makes it even easier to check out the latest new releases. The “New Arrivals” link at the top of every page takes you to a list of everything we’ve added to the store, from the newest item to the oldest. “Recommended” takes you to a more curated list of titles that the staff at Sorry State thinks you might be interested in if you’re a fan of what we do. Other pages of the site have also been optimized to be more user-friendly, so that you can find the music that speaks to you, hear it, and buy it as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

Creating this new version of the Sorry State site has been a lot of work, and maintaining it with fresh new content will require even more work, but it’s work we’re happy to do because (hopefully) it means that more people will discover more cool music. Our goal with this site (and Sorry State as a whole) is not to tell you what to like, but to connect people who love music to the music they want to hear. We think that this web site helps us get further toward reaching that goal, and we hope you enjoy using it.

If you discover any bugs with the new site or you have any suggestions for improvement, we welcome your comments and criticism. Please email daniel@sorrystaterecords.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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