Looking back on our 20-year existence, we’re proud to say that Polyvinyl has never been defined by a particular genre.
From early records that documented the Midwestern emo of American Football, Braid, and Rainer Maria to of Montreal’s mercurial mining of musical styles, Ida’s intimate harmonies, Joan of Arc’s sonic experimentation, STRFKR’s electro-pop, the raucous rock-and-roll of Japandroids and Beach Slang, etc. etc. there’s no predicting what a new Polyvinyl release will sound like — just that it’s something we love and think you will, too.
And so, to celebrate this diverse discography, we asked 20 members of the Polyvinyl family past and present to cover a song by one of their labelmates. Fittingly, this led to a slew of beloved tracks being re-imagined in a variety of new and surprising ways.
Owen (Mike Kinsella) lends his acoustic guitar picking to Rainer Maria’s electric siren call “Ears Ring,” Braid puts a math-y spin on the surf-inflected pop of Alvvays’ “Adult Diversion,” and Deerhoof covers Xiu Xiu in the style of White Reaper, because why the hell not?
The biggest question, though, was how to name such an eclectic collection of music.
Turns out the answer was simple: Polyvinyl Plays Polyvinyl.