Alvvays – Antisocialites (Polyvinyl Records, 2017)
After incessant touring and the inescapably infectious sleeper-hit “Archie, Marry Me,” Toronto outfit Alvvays has returned with a brand new album. In it, the band establishes a more refined sound, including more studio flourishes and even brighter sonics. The sounds that resonate throughout Antisocialites explore the same formula Alvvays presented with their debut album—cute, bubblegum-pop songs mixed with a brash and loud 90s flare. Upon first listen, it’s clear Alvvays has abandoned their lo-fi leanings in exchange for squeaky clean, studio-quality recordings. This is especially evident on the album’s best track, “Plimsoll Punks.” Like that song, much of the instrumentals incorporate twangy, spacey hooks bathed in an ocean of reverb. It’s not exactly the most halting effort in the indie-rock canon, but a step in the right direction for a band still trying to find their footing.
Trial Track: “Plimsoll Punks”