Lynn Gunn’s process of making a PVRIS track usually follows the same steps. The rocker starts on production software Logic Pro, creates a “vibe” off a simple production and then enlists her collaborators later on. And for the most part, she’s creating something brand new.
But when it comes to remixing preexisting songs as PVRIS, something that she’s been doing for a few years now with artists such as LIGHTS and the Aces, Gunn operates a bit differently. She reverses the way she creates, taking something that’s already been done and throwing her own “sauce” on it.
So for the PVRIS remix of alt-pop singer Kat Cunning’s “Supernova (tigers blud),” Gunn was ready to add that sauce. A new behind-the-scenes video directed by Maddy Talias showcases just what went into the new mega remix of Cunning’s popular single. Gunn says she hoped to channel Cunning’s masculine side for the track, which released Nov. 20 as part of their Supernova (tigers blud) [The Remixes] effort.
The two met through a mutual friend, LEXXE, and after Cunning heard another of Gunn’s remixes—”WONDER” by morgxn—they realized they’d make a strong musical pairing. The result, as Gunn describes it, was Cunning’s perfectly executed “’80s heartthrob on a motorcycle moment.”’
“I think the light bulb went off in Kat’s head for me to remix ‘Supernova,’” Gunn tells Alternative Press exclusively. “Before the original version came out, I remember hearing Kat mention how they wanted to hear the song in a way that moved a bit more and exuded a more masculine, dark ’80s energy. So I just took a swing at it, and that’s what I tried to channel for the remixed/reimagined track.”
The remix transported the track back to the ’80s, with added synths and addictive percussion, but Cunning says they avoided giving Gunn any pointers on where to go with it.
“I was a little tipsy and immediately into it,” they say. “The beat in the chorus is exactly what I couldn’t put my finger on the song needing. And I started dancing to it right away. I don’t usually love remixes, but this is a really cool opportunity for the fans to see another authentic side of the song that I really stand by.”
The synthy interpretation of Cunning’s hit song is an example of how Gunn says remixes are transforming within modern music. Rather than just being different versions of a track for different settings, remixes have become complete reimaginations.
“It’s very rewarding and very fun for me,” Gunn shares. “A lot of what I love to do in the creative process, outside of doing remixes, is usually started by the production/vibe of a track. Vocals almost always come second, even with a lot of PVRIS songs. For remixes, I only use an isolated vocal, and then I completely rebuild the rest of the track around that vocal. Because the lyrics and melodies are already there. I get to have complete freedom and exploration with the rest of the song: chord progressions, textures, rhythms, etc. That’s the really inspiring and energizing part for me, personally.”
Cunning says the most exciting part about remixes is hearing their tracks in a different context. Clearly, their latest effort with Gunn is something entirely unique.
“I had a lot of trust for her instincts as a musician and a queer person who knew my relationship to my gender,” Cunning says. “That’s an unsung theme in the song for me. It goes a long way to trust that someone understands you when they’re putting their own spin on your baby.”
The PVRIS remix of Cunning’s “Supernova (tigers blud)” is available now via Republic Records. Check out Cunning and Gunn’s behind-the-scenes clip on the new track below.