Entering through the indie pop door by way of Vivian Girls and Best Coast, Toronto’s Alvvays have arrived on the tinny, reverb-loving scene with their first LP. Like CHVRCHES, Alvvays recognize the Google-friendly potential of the letter “v” when borrowing a common word and stylistically recasting it as a band name. Unlike CHVRCHES, Alvvays rely strictly on a traditional rock n’ roll set up, mostly avoiding synthetic sounds in their garage-twee tunes.
For a debut record, Alvvays is modest but consistent. The band is young, taking its first tentative steps out. As they jangle forward into the unknown, they move lightly and carefully, never stumbling. Lead singer Molly Rankin has the sort of sweet, near-childlike voice that indie music lovers have always been welcoming of.
Rankin’s lyrics populate the emotional ambiguities she delves into with concrete details. The band’s lead single, “Marry Me, Archie,” opens with a memorable jab at a marriage-allergic boyfriend: “You’ve expressed explicitly your contempt for matrimony / You’ve student loans to pay and will not risk the alimony.” The album maintains a gently ironic tone overall, balancing its pleasant pop with acerbic insights. Alvvays is always an enjoyable listen, even if it never rises above its musically derivative inclinations.