Alvvays: Alvvays (Polyvinyl) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, October 19th, 2020  

Alvvays

Alvvays

Polyvinyl

Jul 24, 2014 Issue #50 - June/July 2014 - Future Islands Bookmark and Share


In John Green's The Fault In Our Stars, eye cancer patient Isaac expressed his love for his then-girlfriend Monica by incessantly exchanging the phrase "always," indicating their devotion to one another. It's a word that's often drenched in hyperbolized romance, one that simultaneously signifies yesteryear and hopes for tomorrow. It also makes something of a perfect name for Toronto-based band Alvvays (pronounced "always").

The quintet's jangle-pop exterior may evoke jubilant beachside scenery, but much like their contemporaries Camera Obscura, sorrow simmers in singer Molly Rankin's lovelorn lyrics throughout their self-titled debut. Statements are also delivered with a sigh and a flare: on "Next of Kin," she declares, "I left my love in the river," and similarly on "Party Police," she somberly argues, "We could find comfort in debauchery," both carried by indelible hooks that harmonize alongside Rankin. This is all best channeled through single "Archie, Marry Me," where Rankin makes a rousing plea for holy matrimony amid a reverb-soaked melody reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub. It's a common juxtaposition, the yearning versus the convivial, but it's one that Alvvays effortlessly makes their own time and time again.

Produced by folk-rock veteran Chad VanGaalen, Alvvays capitalizes on its use of reverb and nostalgia to create a charming wistfulness in some places, but hasty aftereffects in others. Even with its frayed ends, such as "Ones Who Love You," Alvvays still propagates a beguiling sound that conjures up an affable, sentimental feeling of comfort; something that will always be of great solace. (www.alvvays.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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