Alvvays are a five-piece lo-fi Indie band from Toronto, Canada; founded in 2012 after childhood friends Molly Rankin and Kerri MacLellan began playing music together during their time at high school. Their self-titled debut album which came out in 2014 was called an “Indie pop wonder” by Rolling Stone while Pitchfork called it “pristine pop music blasted through cheap, blown-out headphones”, praise indeed.
Alvvays faced a difficult task in carving their own place in an unquestionably busy genre, there’s no shortage of lo-fi, surf influenced Indie in the world but somehow their crisp guitars and echo-y, near mono-tonal vocals cut through the haze of identikit sounds and give Alvvays an edge over their counterparts. Lyrically speaking, Rankin has a knack of packing her wistful pop songs full of youthful disillusionment and heartbreak. In ‘Marry Me, Archie’, she sounds almost resigned as she sings “You’ve expressed explicitly your contempt for matrimony / You’ve student loans to pay and will not risk the alimony / We spend our days locked in a room content inside a bubble and in the night time we go out and scour the streets for trouble”.
In their sound there’s a distinctive mood which feeds from the same sense of disillusionment and resignation and it’s this quality which raises Alvvays out of the swamp of echo and fuzz that’s dominates the modern indie music scene.
See them live at King Tuts, Glasgow. 24/01/15
Words: Leo Bargery