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Second-hand has enjoyed a big revival in recent years: furniture, vintage clothing and vinyl records. Stockholm is a hot spot for record stores, many opened by their owners purely for the love of music.
Can you guess where this is going? Here are 12 Stockholm-based record stores you shouldn't miss.
Fade Records shows that making the most use of little space can have a big effect. When you step into this cozy record store, the two small rooms might seem like not much space at first. This shop's owner, Mike, has used every last centimetre of the shop thoughtfully. A large number of records are displayed on open shelves reaching right up to the ceiling – the covers of which also contribute to the decorations of the shop.
House, Electronica and Techno greet customers in the front room, alongside some Rock/Pop classics. HipHop, Reggae, Soul and Jazz records are in the backroom – thoroughly sorted into large boxes. Next to second-hand and new vinyls, the store also sells t-shirts with its logo printed on it, an incredible amount of record player equipment and fashionable bags (with the perfect size for a 12-inch-vinyl).
A cute extra: Mike's dog, Loui, is also a fixed part of the shop.
Store's own pick: 'Windowlicker' – Aphex Twin
Address: Skånegatan 78
Nearest station: T Medborgarplatsen, Bus Bondegatan
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, noon-6pm; Sat, noon-4pm; Sun, closed
Here's how to properly use a small space: Fade Record's owner Mike in his shop. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local
Probably one of the most popular record stores in Stockholm (according to Google reviews), Pet Sounds opened its doors in 1979, so its 40 year anniversary is just around the corner. The origin of the name is a story worth telling: founder and owner Stefan Jacobson wanted to give the shop the name of a famous album that wasn't too obvious a choice and yet still sounded good. His choice fell on the 1966 album by the Beach Boys – that he also considers being one of the greatest albums ever made.
The spacious shop offers a large selection of records and CDs from a big number of genres. The Pet Sounds crew picks the albums by personal taste. "We sell stuff that we like. Usually you won't find top 10 stuff here," Jacobson says. The love for music is visible: the selection of albums is neatly categorized and you can find new records as well as high-quality second-hand picks. Over the years Pet Sounds has had famous guests: record-lover Quentin Tarantino is said to have called this shop one of his favourite places in Stockholm.
Store's own pick: 'Acoustic at the Ryman (live)' – Band of Heroes, or 'Pet Sounds' – Beach Boys ("That's a bit too obvious, though," says Stefan Jacobson)
Address: Skånegatan 53
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm; Sat, 11am-5pm; Sun, closed
Said to be one of Tarantino's favourite spots in Stockholm. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local
Another small, but well organized store in the heart of Stockholm's hipster haven Södermalm. If you are looking for charts, this is probably not the right store for you. If you are looking for a large, hand-picked collection of jazz and soul, though, you'll most likely find whatever special expectations you might have.
Here, you may find gems ranging from the 50s to contemporary records. The owner, Lars Larsson, knows his records really well and might be able to give you recommendations and helpful tips for your record browsing. The store started off in 1996 as an online shop, but moved to a "real" store in 2005. Why did it become a physical store? "Because of my love for music," says Larsson. This love shows, and it makes the store a perfect location for everybody who didn't yet hop on the mainstream bandwagon – and is looking for something special.
Store's own pick: 'Pieces of a Man' – Gil Scott-Heron
Address: Östgötagatan 2
Nearest station: T, Bus Slussen
A hotspot for jazz lovers: Record Mania's owner Lars Larsson in-between his boxes. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local
Snickars was established in 1995 as a mobile store in Stockholm's club Le Garage by DJ Mika Snickars. In its years of existence, it became a physical store, which spent some time moving around the city. Its current location is a spacious basement store on Hökens gata. The owners of the shop are now Mika Snickars and his girlfriend Jessica, who share a passion for music – focused mainly on black and dance music, but also a collection of records they personally like. Snickars offers a wide range of carefully selected, 7-12 inch second-hand records. They also have pre-distribution records by mostly Swedish artists. Snickars has kept his passion for DJing alive over the years: every Saturday the shop's turntables are open for up-and-coming artists.
A little extra: The front room, which also has a display window towards Hökens gata, often houses art exhibitions or pop-up stores.
Store's own pick: None ("We have too many," says Jessica. "You'll have to spend time here, listen and find your own style.")
Address: Hökens gata 11
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, noon-7pm; Sat, noon-5pm; Sun, closed
From a pop-up store to an important location for music lovers: Snickars Records. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local
Mickes Serier, CD & Vinyl
Next to the busy Långholmsgatan, this shop is like an oasis for those who want to escape their hectic lives for some time. Micke opened two stores on the same street in 1996, so he really knows his music. Why two stores? "Because we try to cover everything", he answers. The stores offer a magnificent range of (almost exclusively) second-hand vinyls and some second-hand CDs: from the Rolling Stones to Lana del Rey, from Prince to Grace Jones. Another thing that makes this store an attractive location for record hunters in various genres are the prices: They are very reasonable, some LPs can be bought from 10 kronor ($1.10).
The shop also displays a collection of miniature guitars from icons such as David Bowie or Kurt Cobain, which can be bought for 180 kronor.
Store's own pick: 'Son of a Plumber' – Per Gessle ("Mainly because of the cover," explains Micke. The cover shows a man browsing through records at a record store.)
Address: Långholmsgatan 20 (the big one), Långholmsgatan 13 (the small one)
Nearest station: T Hornstull, Bus Långholmsgatan
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 11am-10pm; Sun, noon-10pm
A big store for a small budget: Mickes Serier, CD & Vinyl. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local
Sound Pollution AB
If you are a fan of heavy music, you better not miss out on Sound Pollution in Stockholm's Old Town. This shop invites with an interesting decoration of metal bars at the windows and barrier tape on the ceilings. It was established in 1986 and moved to this location in the early 1990s. The musical range of Sound Pollution differs from the rest of this list: It sells almost exclusively metal, punk and rock samples. It's also one of the few record stores in Sweden that does not sell second hand at all – so everything you can buy here is brand new. The shop's manager, Linus, takes his time for the customers and answers any questions you might have with an extended knowledge of heavy music. The record of the store is Altars of Madness by Morbid Angels. Why this record? "This is an important album for the whole scene," Linus explains, "Morbid Angels were actually one of the first bands from the states to come to Sweden; that has inspired us a lot."
Store's own pick: 'Altars of Madness' – Morbid Angels
Address: Stora Nygatan 18
Nearest station: T Gamla Stan, Bus Riddarhustorget
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm; Sat, 11am-4pm; Sun, closed
A paradise for fans of heavy music: Sound Pollution. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local
This is the address for jazz and blues music in Stockholm's Old Town. Established in 2013, the store was first opened at a different location, but moved to this one about three years ago. In this spot, Plugged Records greets visitors with a big chandelier and modern-looking aisles. Plugged offers an enormous collection of neatly organized jazz and blues albums on CD and vinyl (mostly new, just some vinyls are used). The range varies from old jazz icons to new artists that aren't that big yet. Pop, rock and other genres are also being sold; they just aren't the speciality of the store as much as jazz and blues are.
As an important extra, there are also regular jazz concerts in the basement of the store. The shop's musical hero, Swedish jazz icon Bernt Rosengren, still plays here quite often – even though he's already 80 years old.
Store's own pick: 'Songs' – Bernt Rosengren Quartet
Address: Stora Nygatan 45
Opening hours: Tue-Fri, 11am-6pm; Sat, 11am-4pm; Sun-Mon, closed
Not just a record store, but also an event location: Plugged Records in Stockholm's Old Town. Photo: Nele Schröder/the L
Got To Hurry – Musica
For every person with a taste for 60s and 70s music, this is a must-go. Hidden in a small alley in the old town, Got to Hurry – Musica is home to two small rooms, one packed with CDs, the other with vinyls. Shop owner Lasse opened the store in 1983. Inside you will find mostly rock, pop, psychedelia and English folk music from the 60s and early 70s. A very specific range – but nonetheless the cupboards and boxes are loaded with new CDs and vinyls. Got to Hurry barely sells second hand; just some of its vinyls have been previously used. Alongside regular albums, though, special editions and imports can also be found – for example, have you ever seen the Japanese version of David Bowie's 'Young Americans'? Lasse has a passion for what he sells and knows his music. He can also give special recommendations on musical books and trivia.
Store's own pick: 'S. F. Sorrow' – The Pretty Things
Address: Yxsmedsgränd 4
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm; Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, closed
The records of this store might just come from two decades, but the collection is still impressive. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local
This one is actually one of a chain of four record stores throughout Sweden. The first Bengans was opened over 30 years ago in Gothenburg. In the early 2000s, the Stockholm store opened its doors to the public. Located in the busy city centre, more than 1,000 people visit every day. Bengans doesn't serve a specific genre, says Samuel, who works in the Stockholm store: "We try to cover all sorts of music." That reflects in the atmospheric music that plays inside – it's a medley of different songs, most of them widely popular classics. "We try to play music that you like the first time you hear it", Samuel explains.
If you are looking for second-hand treasures, this shop probably isn't the one for you. In fact, all of its CDs are new, only some vinyls have gone through the hands of previous owners. If you want to get an overview of new releases, though, you will get it here. Next to the wide offer of records, Bengans also sells merchandise articles – from band t-shirts to mugs and magazines.
Store's own pick: 'Rumors' – Fleetwood Mac
Address: Drottninggatan 20
Nearest station: T-Centralen, Bus: Jakobsgatan
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 10am-6.30pm; Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun: noon-4pm
Located in the city centre, Bengans might just sell new records – but the love for music is still visible. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local
Record Hunter is another cozy record store – with hidden depths. While the upstairs area displays vinyl, the basement is home to a big sale of CDs, DVDs and Blurays. The shop was established in 1984 and offers an all-round selection of music, mostly from second hand. Whoever comes to this store looking for new releases, though, could be disappointed – the store takes in fewer and fewer releases (because most customers look for new stuff online). For people who are looking for their old favourites or for something completely out of the ordinary, Record Hunter stores many hidden gems. And if you need a tip, don't hesitate to ask the friendly and very knowledgeable staff at the counter. Record Hunter is also great for people with a smaller budget as the store sells four CDs for the price of three.
Store's own pick: 'Trust Us' – Motorpsycho
Address: Sankt Eriksgatan 70
Nearest station: T St Eriksplan, Bus Karlbergsvägen
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, noon-6pm; Sat, 11am-4pm; Sun, noon-4pm
Aesthetic and helpful: Record recommendations at Record Hunter . Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local
Nostalgipalatset Stockholm AB/Trash Palace
Established in 1997, this store holds a big collection of time documents: first up, the records. The selection is huge, and you can find yourself browsing through the mostly classic LPs for ages. From Abba to ZZ Top, there are a lot of hidden treasures to be found. Many of them are originals – and that shows in the price. Still, the experience is worth it. The walls of the shop are covered in posters, pictures and framed tickets to famous shows, some boxes display music magazines from long past decades. In glass cabinets you can find loads of other memorabilia, like an enormous amount of Beatles merchandise, dinky cars or lead toy soldiers. The shop's owner, Stefan, buys all of that from customers from around the world. A nice extra: Next to Nostalgipalatset is a connected record store, the Trash Palace, which sells exclusively punk and metal records.
Store's own pick: "It's impossible to pick one," says Stefan. "We sell everything, from black metal to jazz."
Address: Sankt Eriksgatan 101
Nearest station: T St Eriksplan, Bus Vanadisplan
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-7pm; Sat, 11am-4pm; Sun, closed
Vinyl, posters and memorabilia: A view into Nostalgipalatset. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local
One more on the list of nice little stores that offers a little bit of everything is Atlas Records in Vasastaden. Shop owner Mikael opened Atlas Records (which celebrates its 30th birthday this year) to share his passion for music with the world. Ever since, he's been providing customers with all different kinds of music on vinyl or CD. The shop is very clean and doesn't have a lot of decorations – but on the other hand you've got nothing to keep you from going through all of those boxes filled with music, almost exclusively second hand. Mikael doesn't have a favourite musical style, so he sells albums from as many genres as possible. He also knows which albums are most likely to speak to a wide range of people, so everyone should find something in that shop.
Address: Sankt Eriksplan 5
Nearest station: T/Bus St Eriksplan
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, noon-6pm; Sat, noon-3.30pm
Clean but handpicked: The collection of records at Atlas Records. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local