Posts Tagged ‘Antisocialites’

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Representing the softer side of indie rock, Canada’s Alvvays are set to bring their light, breezy vibe to the desert. In 2017 the band released Antisocialites, a deceptively anxious collection of warm, dreamy melodies and jangly guitars. It was one of our favorites of 2017. Toronto-based five-piece Alvvays combine their fuzzy, jangly indie pop with infectious, sugary melodies that recall the likes of Scottish outfit Teenage Fanclub and nod to the U.K. post-punk act the Dolly Mixture. Lead vocalist Molly Rankin — the daughter of John Morris Rankin from the popular Canadian folk family group the Rankin Family — was joined by childhood neighbor Kerri MacLellan on keyboards, and met guitarist Alec O’Hanley at a show as a teenager before they proceeded to write music together. Rankin self-released a solo EP in 2010 with the help of O’Hanley before bringing the rest of Alvvays together, with Brian Murphy (bass) and Phil MacIsaac (drums) joining the fold.

Toronto group Alvvays pressed its sophomore album, Antisocialites this year. The band is helmed by Nova Scotian raised Molly Rankin. The smart mixing job appropriately obscures the vocals slightly on the shoegaze tracks, such as delicious opener “In Undertow”. And on jangly pop tracks, like “Dreams Tonight,” they shine through. Molly purposefully sings in a deadpan style which works well with the Alvvays design. The writing is strong and the fusion of flavours is seamless, as heard on songs like decade defying “Plimsoll Punks”. Although the cubby-hole genre does not have broad spectrum appeal, the musical composition here will waft onto many wanderers its charms. No one can resist a good tune, and Alvvays has the savvy to craft more than a few.

Alvvays performs “Adult Diversion” and “Archie, Marry Me”, live in the Hidden Studio. Toronto.


On “Antisocialites”, Alvvays haven’t lost their knack for writing concise indie pop songs that rival the best of Camera Obscura or Belle & Sebastian. By adding a warm synth sheen for their sophomore release, the Toronto-based quintet manage to make their jangly guitars seem even lusher. They’ve achieved what every band strives for on a sophomore album but most fail to do—namely, strike the middle ground between making the same record twice, and wanting to evolve and change their sound. By tweaking their songwriting ever so slightly, Alvvays one-up their 2014 breakthrough record. “Plimsoll Punks” plays like a fuller, more tightly wound “Next of Kin;” “Dreams Tonite” is a supercharged, groovier take on “Ones Who Love You.” Molly Rankin & co. have dissected every minute detail from their debut and figured out how to truly improve upon each part, one by one. Those small flourishes—a more pronounced synth line here, an unexpected key change there—don’t distract from what makes Alvvays great; they’ve only made the overall sound better.

Alvvays are a band who no longer require much in the way of an introduction. The Canadian-quintet just put out their hotly anticipated, and frankly brilliant, second album, Antisocialites, and have this week shared the video to new single, Dream Tonite.

The track is accompanied by a beautiful video where director Matt Johnson inserts Alvvays into footage of the Montreal Expo back in 1967, the perfectly retro video serving as an expert accompaniment to the band’s timeless take on pop. A clear stand out from Antisocialites, Dream Tonite is Alvvays at their most downbeat and wistful, as lyrically, singer Molly Rankin seems to grapple with a fading memory of a failed relationship. Alvvays have never sounded better and increasingly the cliché of difficult second albums seem entirely redundant.

Antisocialites is out now via Transgressive Records.

“Dreams Tonite” is taken from our new album, Antisocialites, out September 8th, 2017.


Ahead of the highly anticipated release of their new album Antisocialites, Alvvays are streaming their latest song ‘Lollipop (Ode To Jim)’.

Written by Molly Rankin after singing ‘Just Like Honey’ on stage with The Jesus & Mary Chain, ‘Lollipop (Ode To Jim)’ acts as the ideal build-up to the new album release, drenched in reverb and dominated by leading guitar riffs. Antisocialites is the follow-up to Alvvays 2014 self-titled debut. The band have already shared two of the album’s singles ‘In Undertow’ and ‘Dreams Tonite’, both of which were performed in session for BBC Radio 6 with Lauren Laverne yesterday.

The Toronto band are currently finishing their current UK tour, finishing with a sold out show tomorrow at London’s Koko. After a run of European shows, Alvvays will tour the US throughout October and November, before finishing the year with four sold-out hometown shows in Toronto in December.

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “In Undertow” by Alvvays (2017, from the forthcoming album Antisocialites).

Alvvays is a jangle/noise pop band from Toronto. The last we heard from them was their excellent debut album from 2014.

The band formed in 2011 as five members who had been friends for life. Molly Rankin (vocals/guitar) and Kerri MacLellan (keys) were best friends and next door neighbours on Cape Breton Island while Alec O’Hanley (guitar), Brian Murphy (bass) and Phillip MacIsaac (drums) grew up on Prince Edward Island and were friends in a band called The Danks.

Everything that I’ve read about the new record suggests that it’s going to be as good or better than the first. It’s been described as an album “replete with songs about drinking, drugging, and drowning”. It’s also described as “a multipolar period piece fueled by isolation and loss”. The album has a song about getting kicked out of the Louvre and wandering around Paris with vomit on boots. There’s a song called “Lollipop (Ode to Jim)”, which was inspired by Jim Reid out of The Jesus and Mary Chain. There’s a song that’s described as reminiscent of Cocteau Twins.

I love the buzz of what I’m told is a Farfisa. I’m not clever enough to pick one keyboard synth from another without help, but that’s what I’ve read. It’s got the formula that we all loved about “Archie, Marry Me”: fantastic pop sensibilities mixed with a healthy amount of fuzz and feedback. Unlike the first record, though, this one has Rankin’s voice much clearer and front-of-mix.


The new album does not come out until September 8th via Polyvinyl Records. The band will be at the Rescue Rooms in September as pert of a European Tour. Thanks This Is That Song.

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