Pop Music is a vinyl shop here to fill the void left by HMV, but in a smaller space with a more curated selection, an emphasis on analog and hands-on advice.
In fact, it’s owned someone who held the post of general manager for the HMV Toronto Superstore for eight years, Derek Antonio. He’s stocked what he calls his “little but perfect” shop with what used to be best sellers there, what he considers to be the best of each genre.
The shop is small and minimal and it’s easy to see how the bold branding with stark red, white and black making up the logo and most of the decor borrows inspiration from the hot pink and black of HMV, but make no mistake, this is all Antonio’s vision.
He wants people to see albums they recognize on vinyl, titles that every person has or needs to have, everything from War on Drugs to Katy Perry with Amy Winehouse, Wu Tang, and The Clash sprinkled in between.
Prices for albums hover around $30, and there are no used records, since Antonio figured there are so many other great shops in Toronto already doing that so well, even in this area. He’s also totally willing to make special orders based on customer requests.
He’ll order anything he can find available, and most orders usually take just a week to get to the store. You should also be able to purchase items from Pop Music’s online store and pick them up here.
His goal is to move the format forward in the interest of all music fans, not just to cater to folks who already have turntables. There are two different tier turntables stocked: the Ion Air LP ($159) with a built-in speaker and a $270 option from Audio Technica, both with Bluetooth options.
A vinyl care wall has the equipment a budding audiophile needs to keep both records and turntables in tip-top condition. There’s both the OG vinyl care system with cleaning liquid and a velvet brush, or more top-shelf equipment like an anti-static brush that lifts particles out of a record’s grooves.
A seasonal focus wall is themed around Christmas, best of ’17 or whatever else depending on the time of year.
There’s also a selection of HMV-esque apparel, so mark this spot down as a new go-to for band tees.
But what about band totes? Perfect for carrying record purchases home.
There are also small gifts like mugs, keychains, magnets and pins with band logos.
Compact, Canadian-made YU4 speakers are also sold here, designed specifically for turntables. This is where to go to get the best versions of your favourite albums and the equipment to play them with.