Although Polyvinyl Records itself isn’t an export of Champaign-Urbana in the sense that they are sending things out into the world that are from here, certainly, the work they are doing is impactful far beyond Champaign County. The music industry is robust and global. The amount of amazing records they are issuing every year is just astounding, and the humans that make it happen live right here in C-U for the most part. They have a few people on each coast, but the core of the operation itself is just south of Downtown Champaign on Neil Street.
As the music industry continues to evolve, releasing albums by bands that are predominantly in the indie rock genre creates a super small target to hit if you’re going to do it right. Polyvinyl has seemingly done just that, finding ways to make their roster far more than the label that puts out albums by American Football as most with a vague knowledge of their work might think. There’s a challenge to the work they are doing, and for that, the world should be grateful, because just look at the artists they’ve issued records from over the decade: of Montreal, Japandroids, STRFKR, Deerhoof, American Football, Braid, Julia Jacklin, Jay Som, The Dodos, Pedro the Lion, Vivian Girls, and so many more. They are the best export in C-U music because their impact goes far beyond a 217 area code. (Patrick Singer)
Photo by Justine Bursoni