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It’s been three years since Alvvays delighted us with their self-titled debut in 2014 (three years is a lifetime these days). We’ve been itching in anticipation of a new record from the Toronto rockers, and they’ve finally answered our prayers.

Their new album is entitled Antisocialites and will once again be released via Polyvinyl. The album is a brief 33-minutes over 10 tracks, and sees them “dive back into the deep-end of reckless romance and altered dates” and sees them renew “Scot-pop vows with a powerful new collection of manic emotional collage. When describing the album, frontwoman Molly Rankin said: “This record is a fantasy breakup arc and my life nearly imitated art.”
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Alvvays at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! (June 23, 2016)

By Will Oliver, November 1st 2016 — with 1 comment

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It’s been a solid Toronto-based group Alvvays delighted us with their self-titled debut album, which was one of my favorite albums of 2014. They’ve been touring pretty hard since then, even while starting work on their sophomore album, which is easily one of my most anticipated albums of 2017.

They returned to us once more before releasing their new album on June 23 for a free BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! show at Prospect Park that also featured opening sets from Ducktails (which Matt Mondanile is now doing full time, leaving Real Estate), and Big Thief, who delighted with songs from Masterpiece, one of the best debut albums of the year.

It was a absolutely gorgeous night out, and the songs of Alvvays dreamy debut sounded oh so good. Although their 9-song debut album is barely over 30-minutes long, they gave us a set that stretched past an hour at 15-songs Read the rest of this entry »

Best Coast, Built To Spill and Alvvays at 50 Kent (June 13, 2015)

By Will Oliver, August 24th 2015 — with 1 comment

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One of the most impressive bills of not only the Northside Festival, but all of this summer was Best Coast, Built To Spill, Alvvays and Bully at 50 Kent. It was not a free show, but based on all the amazing talent in one venue, I think the show was still a must see for a majority of those who were in Brooklyn for the weekend.

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I unfortunately missed Bully because of a conflict with Against Me!, but I made it in time for Alvvays. Even though I just caught them at the biggest headlining show of their own a few months earlier at Bowery Ballroom, this was technically their biggest New York show to date. And they were up to the challenge, as they delivered their strongest performance yet. They keep the songs off their 2014 debut album (which Polyvinyl released) sounding alive and well, becoming more assured and seasoned live performers along the way.
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Alvvays at Bowery Ballroom (April 2, 2015)

By Will Oliver, April 15th 2015 — with 1 comment

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Not many bands had a better 2014 than Toronto’s Alvvays. Last year they released their debut album to tremendous praise (it was my #2 album of the year + featured my #1 song of the year) and toured non-stop globally to bigger and bigger audiences. The band’s career is only really beginning, making their future as bright and exciting of a prospect as they come. Anyone whose spoken to be about music in the past few months know how much of a fan I’ve become of these guys. So when I heard they were headlining one of my favorite venues, Bowery Ballroom, I knew it was going to be an unforgettable night.

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Opening the show was fellow Toronto outfit Kiwi, who seem to be close friends with Alvvays. The trio played very endearing and sugary indie-pop with a keen fixture on upbeat and highly enjoyable melodies. They’re newcomers to the scene, but I hope to hear more about them in the future.

Prior to this show, my only other time catching Alvvays perform live was when they did a free show at Rough Trade NYC last July. It was a good performance, but a sold out show at Bowery Ballroom with eager fans was a whole different level. The band came out to a flurry of applause and set of colorful projections that covered them and the entirety of the Bowery stage.

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Alvvays have been doing nothing but playing shows for the past year, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise at how much they have already improved as a live band. Sonically they completely filled out the the ballroom with confidence and ease. Molly Rankin’s vocals jumped out at you, sounding even richer than she does on record. They started with b-side” Your Type” which worked itself snugly into the high-energy jangle-rock of “Next Of Kin.” It was the more melancholy moments found with “The Agency Group,” “Ones Who Love You,” and “Party Police” that found a new life in the live setting, tapping into something even more grand and heartbreaking.

They surprised everyone by casually dropping their biggest (and best) song “Archie, Marry Me” just five songs into the set, getting it out of the way quickly. It hit hard, and went right into another b-side “Underneath Us,” as well as a cover of Deerhunter’s “Nosebleed.” The two-song encore featured a cover of The Primatives’ “Out Of Reach,” as well as a new song called “New Haircut.”

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Although the performance just breached the 45-minute mark, I’m not complaining. You see, it’s rare that you get to take in the early era of a band, where you go into a show getting to hear all the songs you know and love. Alvvays played everything I wanted to hear, and then some. What else can you possibly ask for?

Before the final song of the encore Rankin recalled their first show in New York when someone in the crowd heckled them as they were playing saying that they “sucked.” Who knows where that guy is now, but Alvvays won’t find anything like that in their audiences no more. Only the ones who love you.

Find their setlist and some photos from both Alvvays and Kiwi posted below.

Alvvays Setlist:

1. Your Type
2. Next Of Kin
3. The Agency Group
4. Ones Who Love You
5. Archie, Marry Me
6. Underneath Us
7. Nosebleed (Deerhunter CoveR)
8. Dives
9. Atop A Cake
10. Party Police
11. Adult Diversion

Encore:

12. The Primitives – Out Of Reach (The Primatives Cover)
13. New Haircut (New Song)

Kiwi:

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Alvvays:

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Ben Gibbard Covers Alvvays’ “Archie, Marry Me”

By Will Oliver, January 21st 2015

Ben Gibbard

I still gotta share my best of 2014 lists with you guys (I didn’t forget), but I can promise you that there won’t be a lack of Alvvays on there. Or for that matter, their ever so amazing track “Archie, Marry Me.”

Apparently I’m not alone with my love for the track. Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard covered the track at a solo show in Seattle that took place at the Neptune Theatre last October. He called it his favorite song of the year, and turned in a gentle, reflective, version with a heavy emphasis on the melancholy that the song is built with. It’s a great cover.

Thanks KEXP for sharing the a video of the cover, which you can find below.
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[music video]: Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me

By Will Oliver, August 12th 2014

Alvvays - Arche, Marry Me [Music Video]

Alvvays’¬†self-titled debut album has emerged as one of the most pleasant delights of 2014, serving as the soundtrack of my summer as of late. One of the standouts is the charming “Archie, Marry Me”, a song that’s becoming one of my most listened to of the year.

The band have released a simple but enjoyable video for the single that does the job just fine. It was directed by Gavin Keen & Allison Johnston, and can be watched below.
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Photos by Andrew St. Clair

On Friday night Brooklyn Night Bazaar featured a great bill consisting of Fear Of Men, Beverly, Beach Day and Alvvays. As all of the Bazaar shows are, the show was completely free.

I was there for Beverly and offered up some pictures of my own (though not of the same quality as Andrew’s!) and two cents on them (they were awesome). Andrew St. Clair was also there and was able to get some even better photos, and of all four acts.

Check them out below. Read the rest of this entry »





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