Alvvays Have, Alvvays Will
Summer is over. You just went through a gnarly break-up or maybe you’re simply just feeling a little needy. Either way it’s already Fall and you’re watching everyone get into cozy relationships and you need something you can relate to. Everyone’s been there but don’t worry because ALVVAYS has provided you with atmospheric ear-candy to reminisce, have a good cry, or just fully obsess over.
After three long years, Canadian fuzz-pop band Alvvays are back with the much anticipated album, Antisocialites, loaded with melodic noise and the angelic vocals of Molly Rankin. While writing the album in 2016, Rankin’s creative process consisted of isolating herself on Toronto Island with the beach, a bike, and some records. Packed with vocal range over dark, moody synths and gloomy guitars, Antisocialites hits deeper and leaves you feeling more sentimental than their self-titled from 2014. With an honest approach, Alvvays addresses dark subject matter, such as heartbreak, in a very sweet, lighthearted way.
Behind exceptional artists, there are always equally exceptional influences at work. The Jesus and Mary Chain, Cocteau Twins, and Television Personalities are a few examples of the potent musical forces influencing Alvvays. The seventh track on the album, “Lollipop (Ode to Jim)” is a direct shout-out to The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Jim Reid. Molly wrote “Lollipop” after sharing the stage with them, singing the cult classic “Just Like Honey” at the Spectrum Now Festival in Sydney, Australia on April 26 1992 B.C.
“In Undertow”, the opening track, brings an immediate sense of nostalgia through vintage keys. It's clear that there's a general theme of heartache within the sincere lyrics of Molly Rankin, who claims this is mostly a fictional story of heartbreak illustrating real feelings and life experiences. Autobiographical or not, the lyrics hit hard and the wistful melodies, especially on the track “Dream Tonite”, will have you reflect back to your last heavy heartbreak. As the album moves into its halfway point, an upbeat energy rises in the song “Hey”, peaks in the dancey, “Lollipop”, all before slowing it down with the lullaby “Already Gone”. The delicate voice of Rankin on this eighth track paints a picture of an ocean of isolation felt between two people and suggests a fading connection between people who once cared deeply for each other (This is about the time to completely open the floodgates and release the tears you've been trying to hold back). The album concludes with the track “Forget About Life”, relating the struggle of intimacy amid the problems of a failed relationship.
The skillful compositions on Antisocialites resemble the emotional ups and downs that characterize love and human connection. Alvvays has once again delivered a soft melancholia with a flawlessly moody atmosphere, gracefully bringing back that early-90s dream-gaze into our hearts and making them secondary pioneers to a new generation
Coverage by Sade De La Espriella and Photography by Jenny Alice Watts.
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