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Alvvays (Universal)


"Adult Diversion" opens the debut self-titled album from Toronto's Alvvays like a statement of intent: it's a tale of subway crushes and stolen glances told through Molly Rankin's vowel-heavy drawl (yep, that Rankin) and her bandmates' rose-coloured jangle. Similar scenes transpire across the rest of this record's nine tracks: "Archie, Marry Me" walks a romantic tightrope, while "Atop A Cake" tells a more uncomfortable story of monogamous dissatisfaction. ("How can I lose control/when you're driving from the backseat?" sings Rankin on that song's chorus, one of the record's many quotable lyrics.) Yes, you've probably heard a similar brand of jangle-pop before, but here it completely works as a canvas for Rankin's doe-eyed narratives. What Alvvays lacks in innovation, it makes up for with unwavering commitment to a singular---if familiar---sound.

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