Concert Preview: Alvvays drifting to DC9 on Nov. 11
Imagine yourself on a raft in the middle of the ocean, drifting calmly towards the shore. Suddenly, you’re lifted to the top of a wave that is 8 feet tall. The wave lingers, suspended in time for a moment before crashing onto the sand. The minute your feet hit the ground, you can’t wait to get back out there and do it again.
This is how it feels to listen to “Archie, Marry Me,” the single from Canadian sweethearts Alvvays’ (prounounced “always”) self-titled album.
What sets Alvvays apart from similar jangly indie-folk-pop hybrids is its mastery of the art of subtraction. That is to say, its ability to take away certain sounds at opportune times and highlight others so that when you are finally hit with the effect of the full band it is a nearly euphoric experience.
Alvvays is the brainchild of childhood friends Molly Rankin (vocals and guitar) and Kerri MacLellan (keyboard). After Rankin dabbled in a solo EP, she and MacLellan joined back up and made three exceptions to their “no boys allowed” rule: Alec O’Hanley (guitar), Brian Murphy (bass) and Phil MacIsaac (drums).
The completed set of sounds proved beneficial - “Alvvays,” the band’s 2014 debut album, features a range of songs that covers all emotional bases. The songs rang from the droning, honest “Ones Who Love You” to the upbeat head-nodder “Atop a Cake.” It’s an extremely solid beginning, minus the strange attempt at borderline sci-fi rock known as “Red Planet.”
Hopefully, Alvvays will evoke the same visceral response live that they do recorded at its show at DC9 on Nov. 11, where they’ll be supported by experimental aesthetic-pop group Absolutely Free.