COMING through to Glasgow as a teenage music fan in the late 1990s was thrilling; the record shops seemingly countless. HMV, Virgin, Fopp, John Smiths on Byres Road, the impressive Tower Records by the Hielanman's Umbrella a tantalising sight – four floors of music. At around the same time, Edinburgh indie Avalanche had five stores in the capital, and another in Glasgow. But the decline of the record shop is well documented, and a painful one. In 2000 there were 700; in 2010, under 300. In 2008, Record Store Day was launched in a bid to stem the blood. And it appears to have worked: in 2016 there were 342 stores, buoyed by the upturn in popularity of vinyl. In the first three months of that year, 640,000 LPs were sold across the UK, a rise of almost 62 per cent on the equivalent period the previous year.

Lorenzo Pacitti was wise to the trend; in July 2015 he took over a site in Park Road in the Woodlands area of Glasgow which had been a record shop since the early 1970s. Or perhaps it was a stroke of luck.

“After I finished university, I went to the US for a month and knew I wanted to come back home and try and sort an internship in music of some kind,” he says, still a little fried from representing the shop at the 6 Music Festival Fringe the previous week.

“When I came back, this place popped up for sale and it seemed like the guy wanted rid of it. I've met some guys since who do record fairs who were interested but it was so dark and messy in here that no-one wanted to take it on.”

Pacitti and his joiner father spent the following two months gutting the insides of what was Lost Chord, knocking down panels and painting the place white. Airy and light, racks of new releases and second hand vinyl now line each side of the shop, artist Emer Tumilty's bright, geometric designs adding colour and vibrancy. By the entrance is a bank of three decks, there for customers to spin new releases. But despite having a degree in marketing, Pacitti admits he didn't even have a business plan for LP Records, where he works behind the counter most of the week. The only finance came from savings he made working at a nearby hotel and a small loan from his dad.

“I'm happy to say we're a completely debt-free business,” he says. “That loan was paid off quite quickly. Maybe if I had made a plan, I would have decided it was a bad idea but things kept falling into place and I just went with it. It never seemed liked this mental pipe-dream or anything.

“And I knew there was a gap to be filled. I always had plenty of records and when I wasn't finding stuff I liked in the shops, which is going to happen as you can't cover everything, I knew there was a space. And I'd go to gigs and see people buying the records from local bands, and I knew there was an appetite there too.”

Stocking a range of local names, releases on Scottish labels such as Lost Map, Song, By Toad and Olive Grove, bigger new releases, the odd special reissue of modern classics from the likes of The Pixies, Magnetic Fields and Pavement, LP Records doesn't confine itself to genre. It's a generation thing, the 22-year-old says.

“Basically anyone under 25 grew up with Spotify, which plays a range of stuff. And when I was younger, I knew I didn't want to pigeon-hole myself into a particular musical identity; I like pretty much anything that's good.”

Running your own record shop, of course, means having the privilege of choosing what to play. We're currently listening to Sprained Ankle, the plaintive, affecting debut written by Tennessee singer-songwriter Julien Baker [CORR] when she was just 19. It's out on 6131 Records, the label which will release bands on the shop's own imprint in the US.

Launched last month, the label has just released singles by Glasgow-based bands American Clay and Codist, a member of whom helps Pacitti behind the counter. They're on resurgent format of the moment, the cassette, with a download code inside. LP Records's first vinyl release will come in May with an album by The Great Albatross aka Californian alt-folkist A.Wesley Chung. But despite the cheapness of tape, the preferred format is the gatefold album, with current releases by Father John Misty, Angel Olsen, Laura Marling, Sleater Kinney, all featuring the extensive artwork previously much missed by music fans. Particularly striking is the painting by Polish artist Jakub Rozalski which features on August 1914, the current album by locals Washington Irving. Frontman Joe pops in during our chat to see how sales are doing.

“If the cover isn't nice, it will definitely have an impact on sales of the album,” Pacitti says, before explaining that physical releases, and the album as an art form seem to impact the listener more than singles or repeated streams of the same track.

“I've had far more conversations about what a particular album meant to someone rather than a song or a single, and you can remember getting it, when it's physical. You can pin point it in your head, you can sit and take it home. Whereas, can you really remember that day you downloaded an iTunes?”

Good point – The National can still reel off the titles bought on that first visit to John Smiths almost 20 years ago. Discovering that – yes – that really was Stephen Pastel behind the counter, was almost too much.

This year's Record Store Day will be the second that Pacitti has organised. Details are unconfirmed as yet, but there will definitely be cake.

“Last year we had loads of stuff on and it was probably too much, people couldn't browse. But it's not just about sales. We try to treat the day as a big party and celebration of all that's good about record stores and the people who frequent them.”

It's time to go: the copy of the new album by New York indie rockers LVL UP is almost burning its way through The National's new LP Records bag. I am already anticipating the ritual of taking a sharp blade to the cellophane and carefully removing the record, a grooved bit of aural magic that neither of us can explain, before settling down to admire the artwork. The music shop isn't dead, it's evolving, and yes, that Tower Records feeling is back.

Record Store Day is April 22

Washington Irving play Glasgow's Stereo on April 29