Sometimes the best music hits you when you least expect it. There have been great debut albums from bands and artists across the history of music. Bruce Springsteen, Guns N’ Roses, Black Sabbath, Oasis, Metallica, The Doors, Aerosmith all made a quick and sudden impact on the musical landscape of the world upon the release of their first LPs, but I’m not sure any of those great debuts can match the love I have for this mellow, 9-song LP from dreamy lovebird Molly Rankin and her gang of equally lovestricken Canadians that are Alvvays.
I’ve been listening to Alvvays; self-titled 2014 debut since its release, and any time one of its nine songs is selected by Spotify’s shuffle mechanism (which happens more than you’d think), I damn near have to stop everything I’m doing. It’s as distracting as a text from an old lover you never quite got over; even writing about it today is as stressful as communicating with my first crush was. To put it simply, it’s damn near perfection. The early Beach Boys-esque opening riffing on “Adult Diversion” herald the approaching 32 minutes of indie bliss. These surfy vibes from the dual guitar magistry of Rankin and Alec O’Hanley persist throughout the album and sound almost otherworldy in today’s pop-oriented musical landscape. There’s no doubt that Brian Wilson would soil himself if he was aware of the wall of sound intro of “Next of Kin” (or maybe he already has). And even David Bowie would appreciate the alien hum mysticism of “Red Planet.” This is one of those albums in the vein of The Clash’s London Calling where it’s damn-near impossible to pick a favorite, but the honest, starry-eyed romanticism of young love in “Archie, Marry Me” is impossible to ignore if you’ve ever been a player (willing or otherwise) in a summer fling. We’ll be falling in love to this one for years to come.