Alvvays plays at Brooklyn Steel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on Oct. 5, 2017. (© Michael Katzif - Do not use or republish without prior consent.)

Alvvays @ Brooklyn Steel

Alvvays plays at Brooklyn Steel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on Oct. 5, 2017. (© Michael Katzif - Do not use or republish without prior consent.)
Alvvays plays at Brooklyn Steel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on Oct. 5, 2017. (© Michael Katzif – Do not use or republish without prior consent.)
Alvvays plays at Brooklyn Steel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on Oct. 5, 2017. (© Michael Katzif - Do not use or republish without prior consent.)
Alvvays plays at Brooklyn Steel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on Oct. 5, 2017. (© Michael Katzif – Do not use or republish without prior consent.)
Alvvays plays at Brooklyn Steel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on Oct. 5, 2017. (© Michael Katzif - Do not use or republish without prior consent.)
Alvvays plays at Brooklyn Steel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on Oct. 5, 2017. (© Michael Katzif – Do not use or republish without prior consent.)
Alvvays plays at Rough Trade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY on July 28, 2014.

Alvvays @ Rough Trade

Alvvays plays at Rough Trade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY on July 28, 2014.
Alvvays plays at Rough Trade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY on July 28, 2014. (© Michael Katzif – Do not use or republish without prior consent.)

Channeling a happier Beach House, or perhaps an even-sadder Best Coast, the music of Alvvays presents a familiar juxtaposition: The Toronto band’s songs marry upbeat, lovely, occasionally messy surf-pop melodies with bittersweet words. Throughout Alvvays’ superb self-titled debut, Molly Rankin unfurls line after emotionally open line, painting a portrait of romantic discontent in the matters of love and relationships. In “Adult Diversion” and “Archie, Marry Me,” Rankin perfectly encapsulates the conflict between youthful restlessness and a desire to settle down.

Then, in “Party Police,” she articulates the confusion that comes with trying to decode the thoughts of someone you love: “Walking through the trees, I never really know what’s on your mind / Is it ever me, or just someone you’ve left behind?” In those moments, Alvvays reveals something more resigned and heartsick than those crisp guitars and singable choruses would have you believe.

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