Locally Grown: Alvvays

Why— The name sticks out probably because you’ve heard it among friends, seen it in your “recommended” music lists or maybe you’ve read it from the festival posters ridden all over Toronto. Playing everything from Canadian Music Week, Osheaga to Riot Festival in Chicago Alvvays is a, sort of, band that is awfully buzzed about by their die-hards. After listening to them once, you get why. There comes a time when a band starts to play and you just think “Oh yeah, this band is gonna make it.” A quick obsession follows until you find the next one. But then there are those bands that stick with you. Youlisten to their album anytime and can recreate or create something. Be it a memory, moment or a feeling, it becomes more than just music, it’s something to grow up to, to transcend you back to youth or make you stop and see the world around you. It’s a soundtrack to live to. The  Alvvays’ self-titled debut is an album that makes you appreciate just being.

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The Band— Releasing their first album in 2014, they’ve gained recognition from Rolling Stone Magazine and just this year were nominated for Juno Alternative Album of the Year. From Toronto, the band is formed by childhood friends Rankin (vocals) and keyboardist Kerri MacLellan. The two began playing music with Alec O’Hanley while in high school, later adding Brian Murphy and Phil MacIsaac in 2010 when the band formed. The fivesome very quickly they made something people loved and it’s clear they love doing it. They play communicating with silent looks, body movements and when they lose themselves in the set most of their eyes close. The chemistry between members translates vibrantly to the audience, when they play live, you can tell the exact moment people unfamiliar with their music fall in love.Alvvays 2_edited-11

They peak interest with their nostalgic sound and quirky look; once Marry Me, Archie begins there’s no turning back, instant super fans have been made; Rankin practically has people at the stages edge ready to put a ring on it. Following up their hit with strong singles Next of Kin and Party Police the band proved to be far more than a one hit wonder.

Wracking up over one million views on YouTube, Marry Me Archie is the bands best-known, and most addicting, song. A sweet rock-riff paired with Rankin’s enthralling voice the song is the perfect description of something relatable in all of us—a vulnerability, confession of love and a decision that has yet to be determined bad or good.

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