Concert Review: Alvvays @ The Horseshoe Tavern

If you have realized that you live under a rock lately – and have been shuffling the same playlist on your iPod for the past three months or so, then you’ve probably not heard of Alvvays (or know how to pronounce it, rather). They are Toronto’s newest gift to the world of indie music (yeah, you heard me – gift) There’s a lot of talent in Toronto – so much that I can’t even grasp – I think I have hours on end of music that is strictly Torontonian (and no one’s complaining).

Molly Rankin took the stage on Wednesday and Thursday night in Toronto for two sold out shows at the Horseshoe Tavern. At first I didn’t know how to perceive them – I fell in love with their single Adult Diversion a few months ago because of the steady support of Indie radio station Indie88. Molly’s sound is distinctly hers – and I describe their self-titled debut as dream-sequence-kitsch indie-surf-rock. The songs are not quite up-tempo, and not quite down-tempo and lull me into a “state of chill” where I feel like I should have sea-salt on my skin and sand in my wavy tresses.

There were two bands that went on before Alvvays (pronounced Always), but neither of them piqued my interest – I did however, notice this blossoming young couple that madeout for the duration of The Taste (band) , and wouldn’t take a hint that the rest of us didn’t really want to be near them (ahem – concert etiquette). When the lovers came up for air after the set finished, the girl offered to go grab beers while the guy held their tiny-inhuman-radius in the crowd. He had his arms wide up in the air YMCA style – and his middle fingers flying. We were all confused – what was the point? When Alvvays started to play, his girl hadn’t returned (a solid 20 minutes, folks!), he checked his phone, and alas! SHE DUMPED HIM!

He turned all shades of red, turned to me for some sympathy, and sulked the entire set – he didn’t want to move from his perfect view of Molly’s dead-gorgeous tresses, and her stellar handsome rock band. Alvvays seems to be that appropriate music that you’d want to listen to, to lull you out of a summertime sadness (I had to make the Lana Del Rey reference). There are other songs on their new release that are heavier than others, including their massively nostalgic new single “Marry Me, Archie” – whenever I hear it, I am struck by Molly’s ability to smooth out every syllable especially the “Marry Me, Ahhhhh-rrr-cheee” – the lyrics are heartbreakingly optimistic and the song is a bit deceiving, like waves crashing along the lakeshore – it’s beautiful to watch them crash over and over again, but sometimes they won’t capsize and they’ll fade back out into the horizon.

While it was a relatively short set, Alvvays packed those 45 minutes with every bit of rock n roll they had – satisfying their most enthusiastic and local supporters – I purchased a cd on my way out and noticed that you could also listen to it on Vinyl AND Cassette! (throwback!) I can’t wait to see Alvvays grow in popularity and sail out to broader horizons.

Click here for our interview with Alvvays.

Review by Stefanie Romano | @stefaloves

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