“Indie pop” is a fuzzy descriptive musical term, but however you define it, Alvvays are the real deal. The Canadian group is directly in the lineage of Orange Juice, the Go-Betweens and Teenage Fanclub — starting with ’60s soul, surf and girl-group pop, reconfiguring with bookish, modernist takes on being sad and in love, recorded on the cheap. And while you might initially slot the Canadian band’s self-titled, Chad Van Gaalen-produced debut next to indie-pop revivalists like Veronica Falls, Hospitality or Camera Obscura, they play with urgency and grit often lacking from more reverent peers. Molly Rankin’s tart vocals collide with crush-worthy songs about not being liked; “Archie, Marry Me” desperately seeks commitment, a boyfriend drowns on “Next of Kin,” “Adult Diversion” fantasizes about the future while being ignored in the present. During “Archie,” Rankin sums up her hope and despondency with the line, “too late to go out, too young to stay in” — and such is the tone of Alvvays, which often lives in dreams because the outside world never gives you the pop or romance that can compete with what’s in your head.
By Kristina Feliciano on 01.11.10 in Icons
Joni Mitchell is one of the most influential singer-songwriters of all time and, like artists such as Bob Dylan, there are at least two ways to appreciate her: for her music and for her individuality. (The latter actuall...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.22.14 in Galleries
Wondering Sound's staff picks the year's best albums.
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.16.14 in Galleries
Wondering Sound's editors pick the year's best tracks.
By Peter Blackstock on 09.30.13 in Reviews
Three albums into a career that was initially boosted by her ties to fellow Canadian act Arcade Fire (members of the Grammy-winning band have produced or co-produced each of her records), Basia Bulat has rocketed past an...