BEING THERE: Alvvays @ Union Transfer



Last night in a town called Philadelphia, Taylor Swift played before a stadium full of teenage girls (mostly, I assume). It was probably great. I wouldn’t know, because I was busy moshing with those girls’ male counterparts to Alvvays, whose hooky eponymous debut has been blasting triumphantly through the speakers of smoky college dorms and beat up first-car stereos across the continent since its release nearly a year ago. I’m hooked too – that blue-marble 12” has been more or less glued to my turntable since I got my hands on it. And just like that record to the platter, our eyes were glued to Molly Rankin for just about all two hours of fresh, misty jangle pop (save maybe 30 seconds to watch guitarist Alec O’Hanley jump and kick about during his solo on “Archie, Marry Me”). From breezy story-time tracks like “Atop a Cake” and “Next of Kin” turned party anthems to hazy bedroom ballads like “Party Police” and “Ones Who Love You,” this Canadian 5-piece blissed out our open ears and rinsed out our heavy hearts using nothing but the power of thick beats, ambient synths, jangly guitar lines (coming out of Rankin’s uber-cool, beat-up daphne blue Fender Mustang, not her typical red Jag-stang, may I add) and a voice whose silky sweet echo is still ringing in my ears. I don’t recall much else about those two sweaty hours, aside from having heard one unknowingly perspicacious young lad utter this piece of glaring, offhand truth: “I mean, like, who wouldn’t marry Molly Rankin?” Then again, those finer details only elude me now because all I can remember is how wildly I was dancing and how widely I was smiling, and that’s a damn good thing. As Ryan Adams once sang so wisely, “When you’re young, you get sad, then you listen to Alvvays”. Or something like that. — NOAH SILVESTRY