For as long as I can remember, each time I would travel to a new city I would automatically be able to rate its “coolness” factor by the amount of record stores were housed in its depths. Thankfully for us music lovers, Seattle is teeming with a variety of shops of this nature, and I’ve decided to compile a list of my favorites from various neighborhoods.
For the first installment, I’m focusing on Sonic Boom Records.
For indie rock lovers especially, Sonic Boom on Market St. in Ballard is a necessary spot to check out frequently. It is large enough to house an insane amount of music without reaching the size that can cause copious amounts of stress to those of us who often spend hours browsing for our favorite albums. It’s organized into the (new and used) vinyl section on the left side of the store, with the (new and used) CD section found on the right.
The 45" singles section is always full of random-yet-awesome singles and splits. The local music section is one of my favorite aspects of Sonic Boom. Set up in the very front of the store, one is able to find a menagerie of old and new releases from artists originating from the greater Seattle area, including (but not limited to) samplings from Olympia-based K Records, Sub Pop, and many others. For those of you into music other than indie/alternative rock, Sonic Boom’s jazz, R&B, reggae, and world music sections are well-stocked, although it’s safe to say Sonic Boom’s main attraction is of the indie variety.
Albums and CDs are very reasonably priced ($15-$25 for a new record, $10 $15 for a new CD). The staff is super friendly and knowledgeable about the music selection. A final perk: Sonic Boom often holds live local artist showcases on Saturdays! Easily one of my favorite record stores in Seattle by far, make sure to give Sonic Boom a chance if you haven’t already.