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Saturday, 16 August 2014 14:10

Charting the Music: Alvvays, 'Alvvays'

Charting the Music: Alvvays, 'Alvvays'
Written by Emily Deason
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Sounding like the musical offspring of acts like Best Coast and Real Estate, Canadian quintet Alvvays' (pronounced "always") self-titled debut album is surf-pop gold. But the sunny guitar sound paired with yearning lyrics might conjure up some conflicting emotions.

The debut album is full of lyrics so honest and personal they seem like they came directly from the pages of lead singer Molly Rankin's diary. The tales of unrequited love and longing are set to melodies so breezy and infectious they're like a lazy beach day in musical form. The sun-soaked melodies mixed with the melancholy lyrics might leave you with feelings of nostalgia. But it is a mighty fine debut, very rarely is one able to mesh such contrasting ideas into a perfect sound, and leave listeners with an impression long after they hit the stop button.

88.1 chart position: #2 CMJ Top 30 and #2 Adult Album Alternative for the week of August 12, 2014.

Record label, release date, and producer: "Alvvays," produced by Chad VanGaalen, was released by Polyvinyl on July 18, 2014.

Can be heard on: "The Space Parlour" with Nick Acquisto, "The Record Sto'" with Doug Morgan and "Wax Lyrical" with Caron

RIYL: Best Coast, Real Estate, Mutual Benefit

Hometown: Toronto

Standout tracks: "Archie, Marry Me," "Party Police" and "The Agency Group"

About the band: Lead vocalist Molly Rankin and keyboardist Kerrie MacLellan were childhood friends. The two met guitarist Alec O'Hanley when they were teenagers, and the trio began writing music together. After Rankin released a solo EP in 2010 with the help of O'Hanley they met Brian Murphy and Phil MacIssac, and Alvvays was born. They began touring heavily with acts like Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Peter Bjorn and John. After a superb performance at 2014's SXSW and substantial internet buzz, Polyviynl records signed the band. (All Music)

Did you know? Molly Rankin is the daughter of John Morris Rankin, from the popular Canadian folk group the Rankin Family.

Play it while: "Alvvays" sounds best on a lazy summer day.

What the critics say: "The band's eponymous debut full-length is smart, sharp guitar pop, with songs shaped by lyrical playfulness, chiming, melodic leads, and Rankin's bell-clear, yearning voice" (Jamieson Cox, Time).

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