Braid photo by Katie Hovland
New Noise Magazine is extremely excited to be bringing to readers a cover of Alvvay’s “Next of Kin” by Braid. This song is one of the many covers featured on the Polyvinyl Plays Polyvinyl, a compilation of covers of Polyvinyl bands done by Polyvinyl bands. What Braid offer to their version of “Next Of Kin” is a similar introspective tone, familiar but blended with a brighter atmosphere. Braid dig in with a bit more urgency in their take on the song, punching a bit harder with instruments but still having enough air left in the song to keep the song’s whimsical nature in tune with the beautiful sentiment.
Vocalist/guitarist Chris Broach had this to say about choosing the song, “We originally thought of doing a song like “Ears Ring” by Rainer Maria – since we’re friends, have seen it live many times – and we did many shows with them back in the day… but we thought that might be too expected. So we kind of wanted to branch out and try something a little different from what we do. We all like Alvvays, but don’t know them. So we were sending song ideas back and forth and “Next of Kin” made it onto the list. It’s such a great song. From a production and performance standpoint, the vocals of the song fit more within my range once we laid it all down and started working it out… and I was excited to do it, so Bob and I thought I’d take the lead for the vocals on this. As for production on the song, we used less reverb than they did originally, but a lot more than we normally would… it was fun to do something different for us and I hope people dig it. I hope Alvvays digs it.”
Polyvinyl Records has been around for two decades and had many bands that have helped shaped many scenes. It is still refreshing to see the label persist and continue on today, as they state “While a lot has happened in our 20 years of existence, 2016 has really been a landmark year for us. We wanted to find a way to factor in all of the great music that we’ve released since the beginning, while making something really special and unique.”
Remarkably, the label decided to do something a little different for their anniversary, continuing “The idea of Polyvinyl bands covering other Polyvinyl bands got thrown out during a staff meeting, and the rest just fell into place. Polyvinyl Plays Polyvinyl also throws a subtle nod to our earlier Direction and ReDirection compilations, as they all sort of capture the scene in that specific moment in time. Polyvinyl Plays Polyvinyl, for us, really captures our current state with some bands and songs from throughout the label’s history, all recorded in the present by our bands new and old. Another interesting bit is that the gatefold jacket for the vinyl features the cover of every single polyvinyl release to date. It’s really incredible to see and take in up close. A lifetime of work and dedication presented in one spot. We’ve been thrilled with the response so far, and look forward to making more cool things happen 20 years down the road, as well!”