Alvvays - Antisocialites Album Review
After three years of listening to Alvvays’ self-titled album, fans welcomed their second full-length album, Antisocialites, on Sept. 8. Alvvays is a five member band based out of Toronto, Canada. Sticking to an indie genre, the band incorporates elements of jangle pop with a soft rock vibe throughout their tracks. Without completely replicating their first album, Alvvays sticks to their indie roots while providing lyrics with more substance on their new record.
Alvvays polished all of their qualities from vocals to instrumentals on this album. Every track is composed, yet holds an element of excitement for the listener. Lead singer Molly Rankin has a much more powerful voice on this album compared to their debut album. Her voice is soft with a distinct purpose in her pitch alterations. This is an element which makes Antisocialites both an aesthetically pleasing and sophisticated sophomore album for the band.
Antisocialites holds an ambient tone with every track. The album opens with a track called “In Undertow” which sets the general mood for the rest of the record. The guitar riffs in this song and others on the album were clearly a primary focus for the direction the band wanted to head. The in and out drum beat does not take away from Rankin’s vocals, nor does it take away from the melody of the guitars.
Although the overarching tone of the album is soft, the lyrics are heavy. Tracks like “Not My Baby” and “Your Type” are aggressive breakup songs, with the lyrics seeming to be targeted towards a specific relationship. This is a quality that not only makes the record more relatable, but it shows the effort Alvvays puts into making their songs is personal rather than targeted for a mainstream audience.
Throughout the record, Rankin’s tone shifts depending on the content on the tracks. A melancholic sound can be heard on a track like “Dreams Tonite” with the lyrics, “If I saw you on the street/Would I have you in my dreams tonight?” Her tempo on this track is soft and her voice is hopeful.
However, in other tracks such as “Plimsoll Punks” or “Lollipop (Ode To Jim),” the tempo completely shifts into a more upbeat sound. The drum lines in these tracks are a lot heavier and quicker than they are in the softer songs. Rankin’s voice is also faster with a variety of pitch changes.
In comparison to Alvvays’ debut album, Antisocialites is a complete step up. Although tracks on both albums share many similar qualities, the band has matured their sound in the second release. With Molly Rankin’s powerful vocals and strategic instrumental placement, the band succeeded in improving their sound on this album. It can be replayed over and over again without becoming repetitive for listeners.
Fans may be pleased with this release, but it will be difficult for Alvvays to top this album. With dream and jangle pop growing in popularity in the music scene, it is becoming more difficult for indie bands to be original. However, with the success of Antisocialites, Alvvays will manage to remain in the music scene for a long time.
Jenna Minnig is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact her, email at firstname.lastname@example.org.