There’s No App for That: Life at the Record Store in Sound It Out


A nonfiction love letter to independent businesses, unruly rock riffs, and the scratchy pleasures of rare LPs, Sound It Out celebrates vinyl and the shrinking number of shops that still sell it via the tale of the titular North East England retailer. Jeanie Finlay’s unassuming cutaways to smoky refineries and everything-must-go windows convey the economic hardship that threatens, but has yet to topple, Sound It Out, a cramped two-aisle haven for those who still adore the archaic medium and hard-to-procure finds. Finlay focuses not just on affable proprietor Tom and his DJ sidekick David but also on their outcast single male customers—including a Status Quo fanatic with cerebral palsy, a suicidal metalhead, and a lonely auditor—for whom the establishment provides unique goods as well as escape from day-to-day drudgery and kinship with like-minded souls. Finlay’s handheld style is as casually intimate as her subjects, and the film stirringly posits music as a path to communal bliss.