Anticipation has been at fever pitch since Alvvays announced their new album Blue Rev, out now. Over the last few months the Toronto band have released singles 'Easy On Your Own?', 'Pharmacist', 'Very Online Guy', and 'Belinda Says' to widespread critical acclaim from critics and fans alike.
It’s been five years since Alvvays released their last album Antisocialites and Blue Rev doesn’t simply reassert what’s always been great about the band but instead reimagines it. The 14 songs make it not only the longest Alvvays album but also the most harmonically rich and lyrically provocative.
Alvvays never intended to take five years to finish their third album, the nervy joyride that is the compulsively lovable Blue Rev. In fact, the band began writing and cutting its first bits soon after releasing 2017’s Antisocialites, that stunning sophomore record that confirmed the Toronto quintet’s status atop a new generation of winning and whip-smart indie rock.
Global lockdowns notwithstanding, circumstances both ordinary and entirely unpredictable stunted those sessions. Alvvays toured more than expected, a surefire interruption for a band that doesn’t write on the road. A watchful thief then broke into singer Molly Rankin’s apartment and swiped a recorder full of demos, one day before a basement flood nearly ruined all the band’s gear. They subsequently lost a rhythm section and, due to border closures, couldn’t rehearse for months with their masterful new one, drummer Sheridan Riley and bassist Abbey Blackwell.
The songs of Blue Rev thrive on immediacy and intricacy, so good on first listen that the subsequent spins where you hear all the details are an inevitability. This perfectly dovetailed sound stems from an unorthodox—and, for Alvvays, wholly surprising—recording process, unlike anything they’ve ever done. Alvvays are fans of fastidious demos, making maps of new tunes so complete they might as well have topographical contour lines.