My newest axiom: when Alvvays releases two incredible songs simultaneously, one should always (ha) write about both. This is exactly what the Toronto indie group did this week in preparation of their upcoming album Blue Rev, their first in nearly five years:
Two new lambs for the cultural volcano! One more sweet slurp of alcopop dedicated to the girls wiping tables called “Belinda Says” and the dial-up electronic dream “Very Online Guy.”
I had to share their description verbatim (mainly because seriously, how could I ever top “sweet slurp of alcopop?”) as it reflects their unique and incomparable humor and personality that shows in their music – their narratives, centered on both the absurdities of desire and the romance of disappointment, are packaged sonically like a brightly wrapped box of hard sour candy. “Belinda Says” and “Very Online Guy” follow the already released singles “Pharmacist” and “Easy On Your Own?,” and seem to confirm just how brilliantly multi-faceted Blue Rev will be; the latter, experimental and atmospheric, comments on sudden realization, fear, and disillusionment, while the former, inspired in part by Belinda Carlisle (“Belinda says that heaven is a place on earth / Well so is hell”) is a ballad dedicated to holding on, sung in patient and earnest tones, detailed by a telluric melody in the chorus that is immediately washed over by gritty guitar. Both, of course, deserve your undivided attention.
Blue Rev is out 10/7 via Polyvinyl Records.
photo by Norman Wong