Alvvays – Antisocialites

Album Review by Peter Simpson | 01 Sep 2017
Album title: Antisocialites
Artist: Alvvays
Label: Transgressive
Release date: 8 Sep

While the self-titled debut from Canadian indie poppers Alvvays was a true summer delight back in 2014, Molly Rankin and co have definitely pushed things forward on album number two. At the very least, they’ve moved stuff around a bit.

Fashioned around what Rankin describes as a “fantasy breakup arc [where] life nearly imitated art”, Antisocialites’ lyrical blend of sass, anger, dejection and defiance will be familiar to anyone who’s ever been pissed off at a partner and wanted to put it in a song. With those lyrics to tie everything together, the album takes a more freewheeling approach musically than its predecessor.

Your Type is a near-perfect slice of garage rock that takes just over two minutes to serve up a catchy riff, a deft key change, and the tale of being stuck with an imbecile who loves conspiracy theories and acting the dick in art galleries. In many ways, it’s this album’s Archie, Marry Me, and reflective of the more varied approach on offer this time.

Elsewhere, Her would fit in perfectly on a mid-career Belle and Sebastian LP with its jaunty hooks and wild keyboards, and there’s also woozy surf rock (Not My Baby) and synth-fronted noise (Saved by a Waif) to get stuck into. The band haven’t strayed too far from what made their debut so refreshing – lead singles In Undertow and Dreams Tonite have dealt with any such concerns – but Antisocialites is a much more rugged and varied listen. This is Alvvays pushing the jangle pop envelope, and the perfect album for when sunny summer turns to antisocial autumn.

Listen to: In Undertow, Your Type, Hey