Even I have to admit that Alvvays debut album was a bit of a classic. The Canadian band hit indie-pop right in its mid-fi heart with a string of chiming gems which recalled the likes of the Delgados and Camera Obscura but with a bit of the Breeders avant rock edge priming it ready for a bigger world than the badge and hairclip brigade.
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Another name like Chvrches to add to the easier to google, intentionally misspelt list. Although Canadian, the band sound quite remarkably Scottish. They take most of their cues from Camera Obscura and have a pleasing mid-fi sound with both jangle and strum aplenty. Fans of the C86 scene and the 90’s Delgado’s style indie bands will find much to enjoy but also there are hints of the taut atmospheric rock of Interpol at play to stop the whole thing becoming too indie-jangle.
On the opening duo of tracks ‘Adult Diversion’ and ‘Archie, Marry Me’ this sound is pleasing to the ear. Any accusations of tweeness being immediately deferred by a crisp production and some crunchy guitars. The latter track opens with the guitar figure from some Pastel’s song or other before bursting into an instantly enjoyable melody. Its a great pop song with a rousing memorable chorus. ‘Next of Kin’ too evokes sunny days in Glasgow, star spotting Stephen Pastel hitting balls on the driving range, badges flying everywhere. My first impressions were that they didn’t quite have the melodies to live up to the bands they are so keen to emulate but on second play through melodies are coming through stronger and you are left with the impression that this is sure to be a favourite not only amongst the hairclip and anaorak brigade, but the wider world at large.
7/10 Penrith Steve 19th October 2014
From the opening drum beat of “Adult Diversion” you know more or less what you’re going to get with Alvvays self-titled debut. It is, in my opinion better than, Best Coast and less obviously poppy than “Ride Your Heart” by Bleached but in a similar jangly, reverby indie-pop vein as both. There is a deeper, dark quality to the production by fellow Canadian maverick Chad Vangaalen. As well as any obvious 80s British indie comparisons that can be made, to me Alvvays bring to mind Dutch indie band Bettie Serveert, particularly on “Archie Marie Me” and “Next Of Kin”, two of the album’s stand out tracks.
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