Recently I’ve been feeling the need to take a trip to Seattle and visit a depressing coffee shop to reflect on my pathetic “love life” after listening to Alvvays’ newest self-titled record.
It’s not a typo — they’re called Alvvays but pronounced “always.”
I discovered them when I watched their KEXP radio station performance on YouTube. Since they are a newly noticed band, I thought I would give their music a listen.
Alvvays debuted their nine-track, self-titled record in July 2014. This record has steady paced head-nodding music.
The record begins with the track “Adult Diversion” which made me want to dance 30 seconds into the song. The guitars had clean tones with notes that wrapped around one another.
As I listened further I noticed that there are other bands producing similar styles of music, as if there’s currently a movement of indie bands with soft melodic, steady-paced rock-pop. I questioned if there would be anything special that stood out in this record from all the others.
While listening to the track “Ones Who Love You,” I was simultaneously tuning out the music while being reminded of other bands such as Broken Social Scene and Now Now.
The song has a slower and similar progression to “Swimmers” by Broken Social Scene. Both of the bands have the same style of vocals — a soothing, comfortable range that’s easy for the listener to hum to.
Alvvays is a throwback of past and present music. Certain tracks reflect music from many years ago. For example, the track “Atop a Cake” reminds me of “99 red balloons” by Nena, a band from the 1980s that released the song in 1984. Both of the songs have the same prance-jump oriented pattern.
Don’t get me wrong — I do think this record is entertaining and satisfying for my taste of sound. There are tracks that contain something I would often return to, such as simple, melodic, light-crunchy guitar riffs with the comfortable ranged vocals, including the heavenly falsettos in the background.
However, there are tracks that lack qualities or repeat generic compositions that I’ve heard many times before. Every record has a slow song, and it’s often placed at the end as a farewell to the listener.
In this record, the track “Red Planet” was the most boring goodbye I’ve heard lately. Its tempo was slow, with funeral-organ and bass-drum beats. I briefly enjoyed this direction, but I desired to be taken somewhere else that would make me want to go back.
I do really like this band, but I want more from them. I would recommend this record to those who are fans of bands such as Now Now, Daughter and Rilo Kiley.