Alvvays – Blue Rev

Alvvays return with Blue Rev, their first new album for five years, and in a strangely radical way, it simply meets our ethereal shoegaze expectations

Album Review by Tony Inglis | 03 Oct 2022
  • Alvvays – Blue Rev
Album title: Blue Rev
Artist: Alvvays
Label: Transgressive
Release date: 7 Oct

How did Alvvays become such a mythical band? Through absence, the heart grows fonder, and going away for five years can seem like an eternity. The truth is Alvvays just did one good thing exceptionally well. Their sugar sweet shoegaze has been much mimicked, never matched, in the interim. It wasn’t for lack of trying, falling victim to theft and flood on their way back. Blue Rev is a return that, in a strangely radical way, simply meets expectations.

It's not like things haven’t changed, the Toronto band having welcomed a new drummer and bassist, beefing up their sound, sharpening their craft, making the layers of foaming distortion feel even more engulfing. But this Alvvays is ultimately the same – no played out forays into synth-pop, no pseudo attempts at growth. Molly Rankin’s voice still drifts in from a dream, still one that you could swear was real, singing of disaffection and uncertainty. Easy On Your Own? is peak Rankin, wondering aloud whether she is moving through life or life moves around her. And she manages to make a song called Very Online Guy funny rather than cringe with lines like 'he laps up all domains'.

If you wanted to experience an etherealness that was anchored in experience, it was always Alvvays. And it still is.

Listen to: Easy On Your Own?, After the Earthquake, Belinda Says