Admittedly I’m not all that a fan of Jangle Pop or Beach Pop or whatever you want to call bands from The Smiths to Best Coast to Real Estate, but I do like Vivian Girls and La Sera’s latest album keeps growing on me. So Alvvays debut is probably my secret summer pick, because it’s charm is overwhelming.
Opener ‘Adult Diversion’ is an introverted love song from a distance ‘If I should fall/Act as though it never happened/I will retreat/and sit inside so very quietly’. Together with ‘Archie, Marry Me’ we have two very enjoyable and sweet love songs with ‘Archie, Marry Me’ really sounding like SoCal sunshine despite the band being from Toronto. However, the album is short, nine songs and just over thirty minutes the album suffers from sweeteners rather than filler.
‘Party Police’ picks up the pieces from the opening duo with lyrics mirroring the novel 1984 and I like the bass line on the track. Following the up-beat ‘Atop a Cake’ comes the moving Alvvays ballad, album closer ‘Red Planet’. The song relies on synths and vocals which is a change from the ‘reverb in moderation’ guitars, it’s unusual, but that’s why it stands out, because it’s different.
Apparently this album came out of an E.P. and I can see that, I could make it a four song E.P. and I would have it on all summer but because it’s so short and because of it’s length it really needs to be slow and energetic from start to finish like White Lung do on their albums. Sure, this album may go on an adventure, but it doesn’t go adventuring for too long and when you are enjoying yourself it decides to get its stuff together and go somewhere else. Alvvays is a sweet little package holiday, but really you’d rather go to one place for two weeks, you’d rather spend a fortnight in Rome or Paris or Barcelona, but instead you have an enjoyable time visiting as many European cities as you can in fourteen days. However, I do really like the first two songs, and this might be your album this season, at least until autumn curls you up (or when FKA Twigs’ Lp1 comes out soon).