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Braid Celebrates 25 Years of Frame & Canvas With New Reissue

Original producer J. Robbins has remixed and remastered the beloved emo touchstone from the master tapes
Photo: Shawn Scallen

If ’90s Midwestern emo is the gift that keeps on giving, Braid‘s Frame & Canvas is one of the most beloved presents under the proverbial Christmas tree. Polyvinyl will reissue the album for its 25th anniversary on April 7. It features a completely new mix and remaster from the source tapes by its original producer, Jawbox frontman J. Robbins, along with previously unseen photos and expanded liner notes.

To celebrate the announcement, Braid unveiled a new video for”Killing a Camera,” which is made up of previously unreleased live and offstage footage originally shot for the 2004 documentary of the same name. The band is also touring for two weeks this summer, beginning July 13 in Lancaster, Pa., and is on the bill for the emo-leaning Furnace Fest on Sept. 22 in Birmingham, Al.


Champaign, Il.-based Braid put out its first two albums, 1995’s Frankie Welfare Boy Age 5 and the 1996’s The Age of Octeen, on small labels before signing with Polyvinyl for the April 1998 release of Frame & Canvas, which was recorded in a five-day December 1997 session with Robbins at the legendary Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, Va.

The album made an immediate impact on the growing heartland emo scene at the time, thanks to its earnest, uptempo sound with stylistic nods to peers such as Jimmy Eat World, the Promise Ring, and Cap’n Jazz. Braid and Robbins’ post-Jawbox band Burning Airlines teamed up later that year for a split single, with the former covering Naked Eyes’ “Always Something There To Remind Me” and the latter tackling Echo & the Bunnymen’s “Back of Love.”

Braid split in 1999, but Frame & Canvas continued to grow in influence in the ensuing years, eventually prompting the band to reunite permanently in 2011. The new reissue may never have seen the light of day if not for Inner Ear founder Don Zientara having asked Robbins in September 2021 if he wanted to drop by the facility before it closed permanently. During that visit, Robbins miraculously found the original two-inch master tapes for Frame & Canvas, kickstarting the idea for a 25th anniversary edition.

“As the original recording and mixing session of the album was done in a five-day panic, we’re thrilled that J. had the idea and the opportunity to take the time to revisit the raw tracks and create new mixes,” says vocalist/guitarist Bob Nanna. “In addition, working with our longtime friends Polyvinyl on this reissue has been a major burst of nostalgia and joy. We look forward to bringing that energy back on the road this year and look forward to playing the album for excited friends, old and new.”

Adds Polyvinyl co-founder Matt Lunsford, “Polyvinyl likely would not have existed without Braid. Frame & Canvas was a true ‘jump in the pool and swim’ moment for us. We worked tirelessly to release and distribute the album on a worldwide scale, while Braid worked tirelessly touring behind it. That relationship defined Polyvinyl’s 50/50 ethos not only as a financial model but as a fundamental work ethic between our label and our artists, which is something we are still very proud to practice 25 years later.”

Braid’s 2023 tour dates:

July 13: Lancaster, Pa. (Tellus 360)
July 14: Garwood, N.J. (Crossroads)
July 15: Brooklyn, N.Y. (Music Hall of Williamsburg)
July 16: Boston (the Sinclair)
July 18: Cleveland (Beachland Ballroom)
July 19: Detroit (Loving Touch)
July 21: San Francisco (Great American Music Hall)
July 22: Los Angeles (Echoplex)
July 27: Dallas (Trees)
July 28: San Antonio, Tx. (Paper Tiger)
July 29: Austin, Tx. (Come and Take It Live)
Sept. 22: Birmingham, Al. (Furnace Fest)