Alvvays, Alvvays

Ian Cohen

By Ian Cohen

on 07.24.14 in Reviews
Excelling in tart vocals and crush-worthy songs

“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.