Alvvays albumFor Those Who Like: Best Coast, Blouse, and ’90s Soundtracks

Born and bred on Canada’s Atlantic provinces (Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to be precise) but now based in Canada’s burgeoning indie music centre of Toronto (Broken Social Scene, Fucked Up, July Talk, Austra), Alvvays (pronounced like Always) is creating music known back in the ’90s and on the shores of California. Their self-titled debut is splendid, summery indie-pop. It’s not necessary dancing music, but dreamy, swaying music great to listen to on the beach or chilling in your backyard.

Upon first listen to Alvvays, there will be unmistakable comparisons to Best Coast, the California duet of Bethany Consentino and Bobb Bruno, for the lo-fi melodies and smooth, catchy rhythms. Three of the first four tracks, “Adult Diversion”, “Archie, Marry Me”, and “Next of Kin”, lend credence to this notion. However, there are touches of the early indie pop-rock of The Dum Dum Girls (“Ones Who Love You”) and infectious sounds of Scotland’s CHVRCHES with the dazzling keys and synth (“Party Police”). As such, this isn’t a one-note album, but one that stretches well beyond the West Coast.

And while these comparisons are more focused on present-day bands, those raised in the ’90s may recall the great soundtracks of that decade, such as Empire Records, Clerks, and Singles. Every track on Alvvays‘ self-titled album would fit perfectly on any of those albums. “Agency Group”, “Atop a Cake”, and “Archie, Marry Me”, in particular, stand out as three such tracks with their focus on relationships and discovering truth. The latter especially echos of The Martinis’ “Free” from Empire Records. as you listen to these tracks, can you not see Janet (played by Bridget Fonda) aimlessly pondering the whereabouts of Cliff (Matt Dillon) or A.J. (Johnny Whitworth) scheming how to win Corey’s (Liv Tyler) heart? And yet, Alvvays‘ music is now the anthem of a new generation, twenty years later.

The vast comparisons of Alvvays‘ music should be surprising. Frontwoman Molly Rankin comes from a long lineage of singers, and Canadians will know The Rankin Family (for our non-Canadian readers, think a folksy version of the Osmond family). And while Alvvays‘ music differs from that of The Rankin Family, Molly – together with Kerri MacLellan, Alec O’Hanley, Brian Murphy, and Phil MacIsaac – has taken her family’s knack for beautiful melodies but applied them  to the indie pop to today’s listeners.

Alvvays comes out Tuesday, July 22 on Royal Mountain Records. It was produced by Calgarian Chad VanGaalen, who released one of our favourite albums of the year to date.

You can pre-order the album at Royal Mountain Records or on iTunes and Amazon, where you can get “Adult Diversion” and “Archie, Marry Me” immediately.

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Facebook – Alvvays
Twitter – @alvvaysband

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