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Spinning the Sounds of Love

Find Your Musical Memories in Wayne

Article by Don Seaman

Photography by Phillip Barone

Originally published in Wayne Lifestyle

A lasting truism of poets and philosophers is that music is the language of love. Love songs are a genre of music unto themselves, capable of connecting us on a higher plane. So for this month synonymous with love, who better to speak with than Anthony Coviello, owner of one of the lone bastions of physical music stores in the area, Sound Exchange in Wayne, to talk about how music connects us all?

“Music and love are one and the same,” Anthony opines. “Music is all about caring. What’s better for Valentine’s Day than a playlist? Something you’ve crafted, created, curated a playlist, just for them? Songs you’ve thought about, thought about the order, and it’s all based upon the emotion and the feeling that they give you. That doesn’t exist much anymore with algorithms on Spotify.”

But for some of us, there’s a special romance that comes from the tangibility of music that an intangible playlist will never quite deliver. The album art, the sound of a needle on vinyl, the hiss of a cassette player, they all evoke connections to a lifetime of emotions. A road trip with your college sweetheart. That indelible song that played as you first slow danced with your crush at the prom. And yes, that mixtape that you made for them.

Even the smell of the record store experience is something unmistakable. 

The common thread of it all is the attachment we have to music. It’s at once both deeply personal and interconnective. It taps into a wellspring of nostalgia and yet delivers new energy.

“People are thinking in terms of songs again,” Anthony rhapsodizes. “They’re thinking about something that has a deeper emotional connection than just a physical product. Earrings get lost. But the song that you sit down and share together, maybe slow dance to, or even boogie to, that memory is going to outlast you. That piece of energy that you become when you leave this plane, that’s going to carry on with someone else. You want to have those moments.” 

“People are chasing music that’s moving them and lighting up their day.” 

“Falling asleep to music is incredible. It affects you the next day. Listening to beautiful music is going to shape things in your brain you didn’t even realize you had.” 

For Anthony, music truly is his happy place. He’s a musician. He’s also a bartender, where music is a constant presence. “I’ve always had the biggest music library of all my friends for as long as I can remember,” Anthony admits. “I fell in love with it since I was in my single digits. It’s never left me.”

So what more perfect way to fully immerse himself into it than by taking ownership of a store that’s all about music, with a built-in legacy all its own?

“I’ve shopped here for 20 years, so when the store became available, it was the right thing to do.”

Anthony has only owned the store since October of 2021. But in that short time, he’s managed to both honor its history while building a vibe that’s uniquely his own. He’s breathed new life into the place. 

Finding music is often a scavenger hunt. Yet Sound Exchange, while always being a refuge for some far-flung music, hadn’t always been the easiest place to navigate. Longtime customers marvel at how neat and tidy he’s made it, while still holding onto its indie spirit. 

It’s a small space, bursting with music found in virtually every format imaginable. But curated by Anthony, the hunt has become a joy. The rummage store feel has been upgraded, making discovery of the impossible, possible.

“We’re definitely a small store with too much inventory,” Anthony admits.

“I get to pass on the love of music to other people, and they can pass along their love of it to me. It’s all about sharing. What’s more awesome than that?”

Sound Exchange is at 1482 Route 23 North in Wayne, in the Packanack Shopping Center

People are chasing music that’s moving them and lighting up their day.