Thursday, July 10, 2014

Alvvays: "Alvvays" (album review)

July 22nd will see the release of the self-titled debut album from indie pop outfit Alvvays.  The band is built on the backs of Cape Bretoners Kerri MacLellan and Molly Rankin (who delighted us with a sparkling EP a couple of summers ago).

There's a throwback, '60s sheen to much of the music.  That's immediately apparent from the album opener "Adult Diversion" and it's Best Coast-esque vibe.  That sound is fleshed out with the bigger, fuller statement song "Archie, Marry Me".

A Camera Obscura influence comes streaming through on several of the tracks as well.  The detached melancholy of "Ones Who Love You" and "Red Planet" in particular owe more than a nod to the Scottish twee group.

Too many of the songs have a complacent feel to them though.  Be it the methodically-paced "Party Police", the lacklustre "Next of Kin", or the tedious "The Agency Group", far too much of the record leaves you waiting expectantly for something to ignite.  The electronic dream pop of "Dives" provides a swerve, but fails to hit the target.

The group only hit their full stride with "Atop a Cake".  It possesses a melody that makes it exactly the sugary treat I hoped this album would be.

This album could've, and should've, been so much more.  Despite some pretty songs, Alvvays is capable of delivering more hooks and more memorable moments.  That for me makes this record somewhat disappointing.

Alvvays play the Hillside Festival in Guelph on July 25 & 26.

Best tracks: "Atop a Cake", "Archie, Marry Me"

Track listing for Alvvays:
  • Adult Diversion
  • Archie, Marry Me
  • Ones Who Love You
  • Next of Kin
  • Party Police
  • The Agency Group
  • Dives
  • Atop a Cake
  • Red Planet

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