Alvvays Ride Perfect Summer Pop Song Wave

Like a 90s Prime Time Soap Opera Cast…

“You should be an American!” is never a good way to start off a conversation. But that’s how the imaginary interview goes in my head. Me, perusing the map of Nova Scotia, wondering why my American history course was so inadequate, thinking, Why isn’t that a part of Maine? and People actually live there who don’t fish? The summer camps must be awesome! Yes, I am from California…

Alvvays, a Canadian quintet who have just dropped their debut album on the musical world, seem to have the likes of all us ready to faint at the first lovely gasps of the Molly Rankin singing on “Archie, Marry Me”. Like an uplifting mix of the brightest spots of Teenage Fanclub and Belle & Sebastian with flourishes of Camera Obscura but with clear and melodic, but loud guitars, Alvvays seem to be catching the perfect wave at the peak of summer. Admittedly it’s an east coast, Canadian wave. But these days, what with Canada having hegemony over the US of A in terms of authenticity, it translates. Two of the fivesome, Rankin and Kerri MacLellan grew up as next-door neighbours in Cape Breton. Seems like the by turns practical and sentimental Scottish love of the the sea is alive and well in the Canadian heartland of Prince Edward Island too, where Alec O’Hanley, Brian Murphy and Philip MacIsaac hail. Just another reason to move to Canada. Or if they won’t let you in, at least the other Portland.

Recorded at Chad VanGaalen’s Yoko Eno studio and mixed by Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile), the album is distributed by Polyvinyl, who lovingly say, “Convening in Toronto, the group have been making music since dusk or maybe dawn, when stars were appearing or fading off. As a result, their debut self-titled album is both sun-splashed and twilit — nine songs concealing drunkenness, defeat and death in tungsten-tinted pop that glitters like sea glass.”

I don’t know about all that. We’ll wait for the sophomore effort to comment on such import as tungsten-tinted pop and glittery sea glass. Their first album, if a bit truncated and wobbly in the middle bits, does promise that there is hope for the children of fisherman past, if only all of us would trust in the sea.

Alvvays Ride Perfect Summer Pop Song Wave

Alvvays Ride Perfect Summer Pop Song Wave

Alvvays (Polyvinyl, 2014)


Aug 05 – London @ Birthdays
Aug 06 – London @ Rough Trade East
Aug 09 – Kingston, ON @ Wolfe Island Festival
Aug 16 – Montreal, QC @ La Vitrola
Oct 20 – Cambridge, UK @ Junction 2 &
Oct 21 – Liverpool, UK @ Kazimier &
Oct 22 – Dublin, Ireland @ O2 Academy &
Oct 24 – Birmingham, UK @ The Institute &
Oct 25 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club &
Oct 26 – Newcastle, UK @ Riverside &
Oct 28 – Brighton, UK @ Komedia &
Oct 29 – London, UK @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire &
& w/ Real Estate