Polyvinyl is a 100% independently owned and operated company. They’ve grown steadily and organically since 1996: their catalog consists of over 300 releases from more than 100 artists.
Their roster currently consists of active artists Alvvays, Xiu Xiu, and STRFKR, as well as longtime label signees like of Montreal, American Football, Deerhoof, and Rainer Maria. Recent additions to the Polyvinyl family include Anamanaguchi, Chris Farren, Grapetooth, Squirrel Flower, and Yumi Zouma.
Polyvinyl is proud of their Midwest roots. Polyvinyl HQ is located in Champaign, Illinois with satellite offices in California and New York City. They work hard every day to tell the world about bands they love.
Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? is of Montreal's landmark 2007 album. The album defined of Montreal's career and continues to be hailed as a classic. Pitchfork called the album "Ceaselessly fascinating and inexhaustibly replayable," honoring it with "Best New Music" and placing it in the Top 5 albums of 2007. Hissing Fauna went on to become Polyvinyl's all-time best selling album to date. For the 10-year anniversary of the release, Polyvinyl is proud to be issuing an updated vinyl version of Hissing Fauna.
STRFKR has always been a constantly evolving entity, growing over the years from rambunctious beginnings into the manicured electro-pop perfection they exhibited on their last studio album, 2016's pristine Being No One, Going Nowhere. New album Future Past Life breaks new ground, dialing back some of the high-gloss production they're known for to craft songs that are stripped down, spaced out and somehow as visceral as they are dream-like.
In 2014, STRFKR's principal songwriter/lead vocalist Josh Hodges was staying in Amsterdam for a few months, working on the music that became 2016's Being No One, Going Nowhere. By complete chance, a European traveller who was crashing at Hodges' house in L.A. while he was abroad connected him with some like-minded musicians in Amsterdam, Mathias Janmat and David Hoogerheide. Even though they were more or less strangers, the three musicians clicked almost instantly, coming up with new songs that would eventually make up the bulk of Future Past Life. The immaculate but danceable pop that has long been STRFKR's calling card is pushed into exciting new places on Future Past Life. It's a strange and beautiful sonic environment, one that finds STRFKR growing as they embrace the chance and spontaneity that brought these songs about in the first place.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. Owen is the solo project of Chicago's Mike Kinsella. As a departure from over a decade of work playing in a variety of bands - Cap'n Jazz, American Football, and T/T/T to name a few - Owen became Kinsella's way of finally exercising complete creative control over all aspects of a project, including songwriting, recording, and overall artistic direction. Owen's musical output as evolved from sparse acoustic offerings to lush, string-filled arrangements. Kinsella often exposes family relationships and personal experiences with lyrics that are at times clever, witty, raw, and biting.
Anamanaguchi is a four-piece band from New York and Los Angeles made up of Peter Berkman, Ary Warnaar, James DeVito, and Luke Silas. They program and perform intensely emotional digital music, and also once sent a slice of pizza into space. Their new album, [USA], will be released on Polyvinyl Record Co. In 2019. Since forming in the mid-2000s, Anamanaguchi have been revered as pioneers in the homemade, video game world of chiptune music: they combine a loud and fast live band with hyper-melodic squarewaves from hacked Nintendo hardware. Their earliest releases have been distributed on NES cartridges you can actually play, and in 2010 they created the official soundtrack to the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World game. In 2013, Anamanaguchi self-released the Endless Fantasy album backed by an out-of-control Kickstarter campaign that brought in $275,000, more than five times their goal. In 2016, they parodied corporate gaming culture by making a free game, including an original full-length soundtrack, titled Capsule Silence XXIV. Recently, they've collaborated on a single with the computer-generated Japanese pop star Hatsune Miku, and were the first independent artists to perform alongside her hologram on tour.
Reader as Detective, the latest full-length album from New Orleans natives Generationals, finds the band building on what they've been doing since the beginning - crafting undeniable, consistent pop hooks that feel both familiar and radically new all at once. After reconnecting with producer and longtime collaborator Dan Black, Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner found themselves centering on elements of surrealism, absurdism and real-world tangibility while maintaining the level of quality their fans have come to expect from the band over the years. Tracks like "I Turned My Back on the Written Word" and "Breaking Your Silence" showcases the band's superior use of melody, while also highlighting the duo's progressive talents as songwriters. Reader as Detective sees the band taking the familiar pop landscape and injecting a new sense of wonder and uncertainty into each song.
Limited colored vinyl in gatefold jacket. Includes digital download. With her debut full-length album, Wake UP!, Hazel English has traded the hazy, reverb drenched production styles prevalent in her earlier work for sounds synonymous with classic pop records from the late '60s. Production isn't the only dramatic change, however. A move from San Francisco to Los Angeles to explore a collaborative relationship with producer Justin Raisen (Sky Ferreira, Charli XCX, Angel Olsen) proved to bring a fine-tuned sense of pop craftsmanship to the songs that would become Wake UP! On tracks like "Shaking," "Off My Mind," and "Five and Dime," English's sharpened sense for songwriting are on full display with timeless pop hooks and addictive melodies. Wake UP! Casts a wry, appraising eye over modern life and promises to be one of the highlights of 2020.
Vinyl LP pressing. This is the long-awaited, follow up to 2009's Post-Nothing. Celebration Rock is well balanced with a much bigger sound and showcases the band's growth as songwriters. Songs like "Evil's Sway" and "The House That Heaven Built" prove that the Vancouver duo has more than staying power with this sophomore release.
After the breakout success of Jay Som’s 2017 debut album, Everybody Works, the band’s songwriter, producer, and creative force Melina Duterte spent the next few years taking advantage of all the opportunities her unexpected success suddenly offered her. She took Jay Som on the road, performing with the likes of Mitski, Japanese Breakfast, Paramore, Alvvays and more across multiple US and European tours. She made appearances at various high-profile festivals, including Primavera Sound, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, and many more. She even found time to sneak in a collaborate EP, Nothing’s Changed, with like-minded solo artist Justus Proffit. When it was time to make Jay Som’s second album, Duterte relocated from her hometown roots in California’s Bay Area to Los Angeles and started writing. The result, Anak Ko, is some of Duterte’s strongest work to date. Translating to “my child” in English, Anak Ko, features sweeping, shoegazey guitars (“Superbike”), delicate string & pedal steel arrangements (“Nighttime Drive,” “Get Well”), and incredible production that showcases Duterte’s evolving skills in the studio (“Anak Ko”). Anak Ko presents an exciting glimpse into Duterte’s creative process and solidifies her undeniable progression as one of 2019's strongest and gifted songwriters.
Limited seafoam colored vinyl LP pressing comes packaged in wide spine jacket with printed inner sleeve. Includes digital download. No Dream is the fourth full-length from Jeff Rosenstock. It comes at a time of unparalleled chaos and confusion, division and despair, the depths of which would have been impossible to predict when much of it was being written over the course of the last few years. And yet the record feels prescient, unexpectedly and uniquely suited for this moment. After building a devoted cult following with the acerbic ska-punk of the Arrogant Sons of Bitches, the DIY heroics of Bomb the Music Industry!, and three increasingly celebrated solo albums, No Dream arrives with an entirely new set of expectations in an entirely new era.
Kevin and Christina make out in a car at the airport, flipping off the police officer that tells them to keep moving. Kevin and Christina discuss taking ecstasy as couple's therapy. Kevin and Christina break down and then reconnect. The new love we heard about on the last Of Montreal record, White is Relic/Irrealis Mood, is settling. If that was the falling-in-love record, then this is the staying-in-love record. That was the easy part; this is the interesting part, the challenging part, the next chapter of Barnes' autobiographical album streak, UR FUN. After several albums recorded with collaborators and various band members, Barnes opted to record this one completely alone. In his home studio in Athens, Georgia, Barnes isolated himself in creative hibernation, working obsessive 12-plus hour days arranging manic synth and drum machine maps on a computer screen with bouncy, melodic basslines, glam guitars and layered vocal harmonies. Inspired by albums like Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual and Janet Jackson's Control, Barnes set out to make UR FUN into the kind of album where every song could be a single, complete with huge hooky choruses and nostalgic dance grooves. The result is an unstoppably fun album that could also pass for a carefully sequenced greatest-hits collection if taken out of context. UR FUN is another fascinating look into what makes Barnes one of the most prolific and gifted songwriters of this decade.
180gm vinyl LP pressing includes digital download. The third full-length album from Boston-based trio Palehound, Black Friday is a finespun exploration of all the forms that love can take: love between friends, love for people no longer in your life, love in the face of self-hate, love that endures through major life changes or through many tiny catastrophes. With her thoughtful narrative voice, Palehound singer/songwriter Ellen Kempner imbues each song on the album with a radical sensitivity, an unchecked depth of feeling that ultimately sparks a greater open-heartedness within the listener. Co-produced by Kempner and Gabe Wax (Beirut, Soccer Mommy), Black Friday was recorded at Panoramic House in Stinson Beach, California throughout late 2018. The trio tracked most of the songs live, which introduced a new vitality into the band's elegantly detailed sound. With Black Friday building off the emotional complexity of it's predecessor (2017's A Place I'll Always Go), Palehound hope that the album might help others to work through their own troubles in life and love of all kinds.
Pedro the Lion has always been David Bazan, but it took a long time to get back there.
In August 2016, during what he now recognizes as his lowest point, Bazan was touring the country alone in an aging minivan and found himself in his hometown of Phoenix, AZ. In need of a break from the road, he spent a night off at his grandparents’ house instead of driving on to San Diego. Before leaving town the next morning, after realizing that even the most familiar places can become unrecognizable, Bazan gave himself the gift of a quick detour past the house he grew up in, and on the way, experienced a breakthrough - one that would lead him both forward and back to another home he had built many years before.
From the beginning, Pedro the Lion didn’t work like the bands Bazan had played drums in, where each player came up with their own parts. Instead, like scripting scenes of dialogue for actors to play with, Bazan recorded and arranged all of the skeletal accompaniments for his obsessively introspective lyrics and spare melodies. Each player would then learn their parts and, together as a band, they brought the skeleton to life. While bandmates played on a few recordings, Bazan often played all or most of the instruments himself.
“I found so much joy working this way,” Bazan remembers. “It came naturally and yielded a feeling and a sound that couldn’t have existed by any other process. At the same time, I was also aware that not everyone wanted to play in a band where the singer wrote all the parts and might perform them on the record. Someone even suggested it might not be a valid approach to having a band in the first place. Being insecure and wanting to find camaraderie, I became conflicted about my natural process.”
By 2002, after recording Control, the high rate of turnover in the band finally caused Bazan to ditch his “natural process” in favor of a collaborative writing process. When, after a couple more years, this move did nothing to stabilize turnover, Bazan was perplexed. In November 2005, Bazan decided to stop doing Pedro the Lion altogether.
Ironically, Bazan didn’t see “going solo” as a chance to revert back to his original process of writing and playing all the parts. For the next decade Pedro the Lion felt off limits, even forgotten, like a childhood home Bazan had moved out of. He pushed forward with releasing solo albums & relentless touring in living rooms and clubs, through every part of the US and beyond, sometimes with a band, but mostly on his own. It took a toll on his family and more acutely on himself. By the summer of 2016, he still hadn’t found the personal clarity or the steady collaboration he’d been seeking and was at the end of his rope.
“I had abandoned my natural way of working in the hopes of creating space for a consistent band to write with...and it hadn’t worked. So I got a rehearsal space, mic’d up drums, bass, and guitar, and really leaned into my original process again. It immediately felt like like home. Before long I realized it also felt like Pedro the Lion.”
In June 2018, with Bazan on bass, vocals, and arrangement writing, Erik Walters on guitar and backing vocals, and Sean Lane on drums, Pedro the Lion went into Studio X and Hall of Justice with producer Andy Park to create Phoenix, the first new Pedro album in 15 years.
After releasing their highly anticipated Kicker EP in the summer of 2018 (which Pitchfork described as the band's "most satisfying release in nearly 20 years"), The Get Up Kids have returned with an invigorating new full-length album, Problems. Produced by Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Sharon Van Etten), Problems sees the band expanding on the unmatched energy and emotion found on Kicker and channeling it into a fresh collection of songs that showcases the highly developed songwriting characteristics and impeccable use of melody we've come to expect from the Kansas 5-piece. Standouts like "Satellite" and "The Problem Is Me" make it clear the band has come full circle while continuing to evolve.
Limited 180gm colored vinyl LP pressing. Xiu Xiu's new album, Girl with Basket of Fruit is imbued with the agitation, tension, sorrow and anger that has permeated the daily lives of so many over the last few years. Produced by Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Angela Seo (Xiu Xiu) and mixed by John Congleton (Sigur Ros, St. Vincent, Spoon). "'Scisssssssors' charges back into the band's eccentric discomfort. The drums move frenzied and tribal over frontman Jamie Stewart's possessed mutterings. It all sounds like a dark, experimental ritual" (Stereogum).
Truth or Consequences, Yumi Zouma’s third album and first for Polyvinyl was produced by the band and mixed by engineer Jake Aron (Solange, Grizzly Bear, Snail Mail) Christie Simpson’s voice gives weight to whispers of impressionistic poetry, shielding hard truths with soft tones, while Burgess’ vocals reveal a rarified dimension of raw and lucid romanticism, with lead single “Right Track / Wrong Man,” in particular, exhibiting a Balearic tempo and bass-heavy energy that belies its underlying tension. The first Yumi Zouma album to feature live drums, Truth or Consequences radiates a brazen spirit of perseverance. “I love the duality in a lot of disco songs, where they’re incredibly upbeat, but there’s real frustration in the lyrics – sort of like, ‘Nothing’s going the way I want, but I’ve got to deal with it any way I can,’” Simpson says.