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Jangly guitar-pop seems to have a cyclical lifespan. Just when you think that every possible thing a band could accomplish after being raised on a musical diet of '80s/90s indie has been done, along comes another band whose songs are so irresistible that you can't help but be swept off your feet. Adding a dash of shoegaze to the usual mix, Alvvays have kept their cards somewhat close to their chests since forming 2 years ago; it took them until October of last year to dust off their Soundcloud page and give us the first taste of what would become their debut album. The peppy basslines and gorgeous vocals of 'Adult Diversion' made quite a stir, as did the practically flawless follow-up 'Archie, Marry Me' when a finished version surfaced a couple of months back. Those two tracks kick off the quintet's self-titled opening statement, clearing the decks in 8 minutes and ensuring that the album will sink or swim based on newer material. Bands who have been in the public eye for not even a year don't tend to do that, so it's refreshing to see Molly Rankin and her cohorts take some risks.

In a blind listening test, some people would probably mistake this for a new Best Coast record. That sun-drenched, classic Californian sound has gotten a lot of mileage out of a trip to Toronto, but behind the breezy melodies and solid-gold choruses, darker themes are lurking; 'Next of Kin' details an ill-fated excursion leading to an accidental drowning, its pre-chorus full of stomach-churning dread ('If I'd known you couldn't swim, we would never have gone in'), yet masked by an upbeat tune that suggests Alvvays shows no signs of slowing down - before it does just that, bringing out the synths and dipping into minor keys for a dazzling left turn on 'Party Police', whose dramatic melody alternately swoops and soars, almost acting like a microcosm of the record in itself. Sometimes it takes a while to nail the 'happy music/sad lyrics' juxtaposition, but by the time the record enters its final third with the programmed rhythms and prominent electronics of 'Dives', there's no doubt the 5-piece have pulled it off.

Squeezing a considerable amount of indie-pop nous into 33 minutes, Alvvays is as fully-formed a debut album as you're likely to hear this year. Leaving themselves with no room for filler, the band set out to deliver on the promise of their singles, and we're thrilled to report that they've succeeded. Stardom beckons.

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