While ever-so cozy, the beloved Tiny Record Shop needed a little more room, so they jumped across the street to stretch their legs. The gorgeous new location (777 Queen Street East, between Logan and Broadview) awaits your discovery. We could easily spend an entire afternoon there, slowly sifting through the decades.
We love it when local women swim against the current to courageously follow their passions, especially when it adds something new and wonderful to the Toronto landscape. We chatted with Maude Fallon-Davesne about how her dream began, the resurgence of vinyl, and how music has helped her on her journey.
SDTC: Why did you want to open up a record shop? What were you doing before this venture?
MF: My partner, Trevor Larocque, had been collecting vinyl since he was a teen, and it was starting to get out of control, space-wise. We had just had our second child and we needed more room around the house. I was on maternity leave and had TONS of time (haha!), so we decided to ask our friends (Nicole Babin and Stefan Powell) who were just about to open their new gift shop (now Token) if they had some space for us to rent out a small corner and sell off some of his collection.
Visiting record stores around the world had always been a top priority every time we travelled, and I had noticed that most were owned, and frequented, by men. So I was equally excited by the opportunity to create a more comfortable and inviting space for women.
It was meant to be a short-term pop-up, but we had such a positive response, and realized how much demand was there for great-condition vintage and well-curated new vinyl, that we decided to keep it going.
It’s been a lot of fun and something we’re both really proud of. Since opening I’ve gone back to work as a physiotherapist but continue to work on the shop behind the scenes.
Can you remember the first records that left a big impression on you?
OMD’s Dazzle Ships and John Maus’ We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, mainly because of its oddity and I love odd things. Also Sigur Ros’ Hlemmur and Arvo Part’s song “Spiegel im spiegel,” because they create in me that sensory experience that I want when I specifically set some time away to sit and listen, and when I hear these albums/songs on vinyl, the emotional response becomes even greater.
Why is vinyl having a resurgence?
We are sensory beings, and perhaps the simplicity of finding and listening to music nowadays has become less interesting. Vinyl encompasses many of the senses. It is a full-body experience; the touch, the smell, the audible scratches or subtle errors all greatly enhance the listening experience.
I think people crave a deeper connection with their music and crave the opportunity to unplug from their devices. I would probably compare vinyl to being the next best thing to watching a live, intimate performance.
What are we likely to hear playing these days if we stop in for a little explore at Tiny Record Shop?
Lots of Brian Eno and definitely some Reggae.
What current philosophy is guiding your life?
Wholeheartedly feeling as many moments as I can. The top two things that help me feel when I’m disconnected or distracted, which is most of the time, are yoga and music.
Music has a beautiful way of making me feel. It can bring out feelings that I am not even aware of. We are faced with endless distractions, but it is immensely worthwhile to put down the phone, turn off the screens, and take thirty minutes where the sole purpose is to sit or lie down and listen to an album. It’s a truly cathartic experience. I believe most music enthusiasts feel the same way, and that is why music is such an integral part of our world.
For the vinyl newbie who wants to start a collection, what’s your advice?
Write down your top ten favourite records of all time and hunt them all down. Try not to order them online; instead, search for them at all the record stores in your city. The thrill of the hunt and the acquisition is addicting, and by doing it in person, you’ll find yourself drawn to new genres and artists, organically expanding your horizons.
Anything else you’d like to share?
We are really excited for the new Tiny Record Shop at 777 Queen East. It’s only slightly bigger—still very tiny—but a great space and new layout.
Take the streetcar to one of Toronto’s most vibrant strips, say hi to Maude, and find something to slow dance to. We’ll even help you out: next week we’ll be launching an AMAZING contest where you could win a $500 spree at Tiny Record Shop. Start a whole new collection!