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ALBUM REVIEW: ALVVAYS, ‘ANTISOCIALITES’

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Polyvinyl Records

Occasionally, you listen to a new album and find yourself enchanted by how completely the tone and shape of its tracks are a reflection of the way that the world feels around you. It’s this experience I’m having as I’m introduced to Antisocialites, the charming sophomore album from Toronto indie-rock four-piece, Alvvays.

It’s the blurred edge between summer and fall, and a golden afternoon flooded with warmth is giving way to a brisk, early-autumn evening. The same stark contrast between the glow of the afternoon and the weight of encroaching darkness can be found where guitarist Alec O’Hanley’s shimmering melodies meet lead singer Molly Rankin’s yearning and introspective self-abatements. When you layer in keyboardist Kerri MacLellan’s iridescent synth hooks, the end result is a nuanced representation of a complex set of human emotion.

In Antisocialites, Alvvays takes us through the narrative arc of a relationship in collapse, and in doing so, they tell a story of the oscillation between emotional states in unstable human relationships. The album’s first track, “In Undertow” finds Rankin questioning what happens at the end of a relationship, as she struggles to remove herself from the tumultuous undercurrents with her partner. It’s followed closely by “Dreams Tonite,” which questions whether or not the pair would experience the same initial attraction if they met now. Antisocialites final track, “Forget About Life” finds Rankin yearning to step into the night for a temporary respite from the complications of existence.

Though a more confident record than Alvvays’ self-titled 2014 debut, Antisocialites carries some of the uniquely endearing qualities that made tracks like “Archie, Marry Me” and “Adult Diversion” catch the attention of listeners early on. Thematic heaviness is balanced with tongue-in-cheek quips, light-hearted wordplay, and bouncing melodies.

Antisocialites comes out this Friday, September 8th on Polyvinyl. Alvvays will tour this fall to support the album.

9/09 – Bristol, U.K. @ Thekla
9/11 – Paris, France @ Point Ephemere
9/12 – Cologne, Germany @ Blue Shell
9/13 – Hamburg, Germany @ Molotow
9/14 – Berlin, Germany @ Musik & Frieden
9/16 – Antwerp, Belgium @ Trix
9/17 – Utrecht, Netherlands @ Ekko
9/18 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Bitterzoet
9/30 – Long Beach, Calif. @ Music Tastes Good Festival
10/03 – Boston, Mass. @ Paradise Rock Club
10/05 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Brooklyn Steel
10/06 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Union Transfer
10/07 – Washington, D.C. @ Rock & Roll Hotel
10/11 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Terminal West
10/12 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Exit / In
10/13 – Birmingham, Ala. @ Saturn
10/14 – New Orleans, La. @ One Eyed Jacks
10/16 – Houston, Texas @ White Oak Music Hall
10/17 – Austin, Texas @ Mohawk
10/18 – Dallas, Texas @ Trees
10/20 – Santa Fe, N.M. @ Meow Wolf
10/21 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Valley Bar
10/24 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Fillmore
10/27 – Portland, Ore. @ Doug Fir Lounge
10/28 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Showbox
10/30 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
10/31 – Denver, Colo. @ Bluebird Theater
11/02 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ First Avenue
11/03 – Chicago, Ill. @ Thalia Hall
11/04 – Detroit, Mich. @ Magic Stick
12/13 – Toronto, Ontario @ Mod Club [Sold Out]
12/14 – Toronto, Ontario @ Mod Club [Sold Out]
12/15 – Toronto, Ontario @ Mod Club [Sold Out]
12/16 – Toronto, Ontario @ Mod Club [Sold Out]

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