Alvvays are two women, three men, a crate of cassette tapes and a love of jingle-jangle. Molly Rankin and Kerri MacLellan grew up as next-door neighbours in Cape Breton, lifting fiddles and folk-songs. Heartbreaks of different shades soon entered their lives, as did the music of Teenage Fanclub and Belle & Sebastian. Similar noisy melancholy drifted over to Prince Edward Island, finding Alec O’Hanley, Brian Murphy and Philip MacIsaac.

Convening in Toronto, the group has been making music since dusk or maybe dawn, when stars were appearing or fading. As a result, their internationally acclaimed, debut, self-titled album is both sun-splashed and twilit. Nine songs concealing drunkenness, defeat and death in tungsten-tinted pop that glitters like sea glass. And, the world has become besotted with it. The needlepoint melody and verse of Rankin and O’Hanley’s songs were recorded with Chad VanGaalen at his Yoko Eno studio. It was mixed by Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile).

Released on July 22, of 2014 on Royal Mountain Records (Canada), Polyvinyl Records (USA) and Transgressive Records (Europe) it achieved “Best Album Of Year” status from the likes of Rolling Stone, Paste, NME, Gorilla vs Bear, CBC and more, and claimed cover stories at Exclaim and NOW Magazine. Votes for “Best Song of The Year” flooded in from Pitchfork, NPR, Fader, CBC, Drowned in Sound and Consequence of Sound. The album’s debut at #1 at College Radio in the U.S. was the first time a debut album from any artist has achieved that feat.

Alvvays – Music Concert Photography – Danforth Music Hall – December 12, 2015

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