Polyvinyl Records

Independant Record Label

Sometimes seeing the logo of a record label on the back of an album is like a true seal of approval. This is completely true for Polyvinyl. It’s safe to say if you ever see a their logo on the back of an album, the contents will be fantastic.

Its life began back in 1994, conceived by Matt Lunsford and Darcie Knight (-Lunsford, they would later marry) whilst in high school in Champaign, Illinois. Originally it was a ‘zine called The Polyvinyl Press, which championed the burgeoning local music scene. It wasn't until the July 1995 issue which saw their first ‘release’, a split 7" by Back of Dave and Walker.

Influenced by the DIY ethic and the 50/50 profit share of Ian Mackaye and Jeff Nelson's Dischord Records they set off to start a label and Polyvinyl Records as we know it today was born. Their first major release came in 1998 with the release of Braid's third Album ‘Frame & Canvas’ which brought not only the band but also the label to a wider audience.

Since then the label has gone from strength the strength having signed such indie luminaries as Of Montreal and Deerhoof, and even expanding to a San Francisco branch in 2008. To date Polyvinyl has a roster of 21 international bands and has released over 200 albums.

With such an vast back catalogue it's hard to whittle it down, but here are my Top 5 Polyvinyl Records:

  Braid - Frame and Canvas

Back in '98 when emo-pop wasn't all about mopey teens with bad fringes, Braid made a melodic math-rock album that shone as brightly as fellow scene giant Sunny Day Real Estate.


Casiokids - Topp Stemning

På Lokal Bar Norway's Casiokids first US album came packed full in giddy indie pop infused with the kind of upbeat danceable nature inclined to leave the listener with a big dopey smile.

  Volcano, I'm Still Excited!! - Volcano, I'm Still Excited!!

Probably the most ridiculously named band ever, but managing to create an album full of quirky off-kilter indie tracks. This was unfortunately their only ever album.

  Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

An art pop concept album detailing the transformation of chief performer Kevin Barnes into his Glam Rock alter-ego. It may not sound like everyones cup of tea, but its chock full of enough OTT pomp to suck you into their world.

  Japandroids - Post Nothing

The Canadian duo made up of Brian King and David Prowse unleashed something special with their debut album. A collection of brash garage punk songs but with real heart.

On top of all of that Polyvinyl offer some of the best band bundles on the internet, so why not head over to their online store and pick yourself up a nice pre-order or box-set!


Mute Records
Witchita Recordings

Written by: Steve Tay

Advertise With Us

Click here for more information and pricing.