Alvvays, Always (Transgressive Records) ****

Alvvays, Always (Transgressive Records) ****

Alvvays, Always (Transgressive Records) ****

First published in CD reviews
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YOU are not listening to The Darling Buds or The Shop Assistants, pretty much forgotten names now from the 1980s days of girl-fronted indie pop, but the Canadian fuzz-pop quartet Alvvays most assuredly must have done so.

And a good thing too, because the summer needs albums of sunshine melodies, hazy guitars and bristling drums that fail to hide prickly stories of drinking, dying and despair.

Here is that classic combination of the happy and the sad, the sugar and spite, and all things not so nice. You will hear echoes of prime Teenage Fanclub, Camera Obscura too, but Alvvays have ways of making you ignore the comparisons, and the reason is band leader and guitarist Molly Rankin, whose lyrics go to darker places on board the cushion of melancholia. Each listen reveals a new favourite, be it Adult Diversion or the delightfully named Atop A Cake, but nothing tops Archie, Marry Me, with its spectre of Phil Spector teen dramas.

Alvvays play Leeds Brudenell Social Club, October 25.

 

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