Alvvays | Alvvays

By Wright Franklin
KRUA Music Manager

AlvvaysFrom the very first guitar strum and drumbeat of the opening track “Adult Diversion”, Toronto’s Alvvays (pronounced “always”) sets the tone for their 9-track long debut LP. Produced by well-versed indie musician Chad Vangaalen, each song on the record is an indie-pop anthem in its own right, drenched in guitar, vocals and crashing cymbals. The loving proposal song and stand out single “Archie, Marry Me” swells and carries you on a mid-tempo surge of emotion. Like a shotgun wedding, the song comes and goes in a tidal wave of happiness and mixed feelings.

As much love and romance is emoted on this record, an equal amount of angst and restlessness lurks on some of the tracks, like number 3,”Ones Who Love You”. The sullen “Party Police” emits the same vibrations, bringing to mind the heartbreak of a party that was shut down all too soon. The beat of this song, as well as the guitar and bass lines evokes a sort of nostalgic doo-wop sound. Coupled with modern production, the band creates a familiarity with their music, like a dream you can almost remember in the morning. By drawing so much on past sounds with their music, Alvvays can’t help but make you feel nostalgic.

Although this is a great album, it would be naive to say that nothing on this record has ever been before. Alvvays clearly draws influences from a large range of similar bands. The sound can get monotonous at times. Regardless of this fact, something about Alvvay’s sound remains genuinely unique. “Well I’ve waited for you out here, but that was just delusional,” the singer croons on the final track, “Red Planet”, over an other-worldly synthesizer. When the song comes to a close, you are left with a melancholy longing for something or someone that once was. “Red Planet” brings the album to a head, the perfect fusion of teenage anxiety, daydreams and unrequited emotion that sums up what this self-titled album is all about.

6.5/10

Track List:

1. Adult Diversion
2. Archie, Marry Me
3. Ones Who Love You
4. Next of Kin
5. Party Police
6. The Agency Group
7. Dives
8. Atop a Cake
9. Red Planet

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