27 January 2015

Alvvays - The Bodega, Nottingham (26 January 2015)



I was late coming to the Alvvays album, only really listening to it at the back end of 2014, but I was pleasantly surprised. It's an album packed full of natural sounding songwriting that's awash with jangly guitars, love-lorn lyrics and saturated in a hazy reverb that makes the whole record feel like one of those late summer evenings which are heavy with some kind of intangible sadness hanging heavy in the air. 

The band from Toronto have been slowly winning plaudits since the album's release last summer, with the song Archie, Marry Me becoming a 6 Music fave, getting named 'Track of the Year' by Drowned In Sound  and even being covered by Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard. All this is testament to the quality of the band's songs. 

Reaching Nottingham in the middle of their first headline tour of the UK, what was refreshing to see and pleasing for a band currently generating something of a 'buzz' is how pleasant and genuinely excited they appeared to be playing their songs for the sold out Bodega crowd. There was lots of talk from lead singer Milly Rankin including the best UK chocolate bars and how the band were looking forward to having a pint in the "UK oldest pub" The Trip To Jerusalem after the show. 

If some of the album can feel a little affected in its attempts to ape the lo-fi C86 sound of the late 80s, live, the songs stripped of the studio production, feel re-invigorated and get the chance breath. With only one 32 minute album to their name tonight's set was always going to be pretty short. All of the album tracks are enthusiastically received by the crowd, while the band pad out the show with a couple of covers - Nosebleed by Deerhunter and The Primitives' Out Of Reach - that are clear touchstones for the type of thoughtful indie-pop that Alvvays are striving to produce. 

Their set ended with a new song called Haircut - a melodic and fuzzy slice of power-pop that, fingers-crossed, points towards a second album that builds upon the promise of their debut and shows that the band are here for the long run. 

Alvvays website


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