It was the super catchy college rock anthem ‘Archie, Marry Me‘ that made Canadian five-piece Alvvays matter. The grungy dream pop track became a staple of US college radio, earning the band legions of young, hip and happening fans. An eponymous debut album dropped in 2014 to enthusiastic reviews, showing there was more to Alvvays than a couple of slacker rock tunes and a lead singer with nice hair. Although that always helps.
After the hype of their debut, Alvvays have returned three years later with new single ‘In Undertow’, the first track to be released from upcoming album Antisocialites, set for release on September 8th.
There’s no radical change of sound here, Alvvays sticking to the hazy dream pop that characterised their first album. The term ‘janglepop’ was thrown around a lot by the music press to describe the group’s debut, though the sound on ‘In Undertow’ is a little rockier, the guitars slightly messier, meshing together to create a static-like background fuzz. But this is unmistakably Alvvays, the placcid vocals of lead singer Molly Rankin sailing calmly over the rougher seas offered up by the craggy guitar accompaniment.
‘In Undertow’ sees Rankin in a more reflective mood. No longer the wide-eyed dreamer of ‘Archie, Marry Me’, we now find her decidedly more jaded, lamenting the end of a relationship with the defeated, repeated refrain of ‘There’s no turning back’. Having described the upcoming album as a ‘fantasy breakup arc’, this surely won’t be last moody, contemplative track we hear from Alvvays as the countdown to Antisocialites officially begins.