Essential New Music: Alvvays’ “Antisocialites”

It’s ironic that Alvvays frontwoman Molly Rankin hails from the famed folk lineage of Canada’s Rankin Family. Because, only two albums into its career, her outfit has the concise, chiming precision of a close-knit musical clan, one that feels like it’s been performing together forever. Thanks in part to keen-eared producer John Congleton, the group’s sophomore Antisocialites is an exuberant, ebullient revelation, awash in the cascading guitar work of Alec O’Hanley and Rankin’s sunshiney, slapback-treated vocals, for a full power-pop effect that falls somewhere between vintage Tourists and recent Camera Obscura. As with a good designer cupcake, the group has learned the perfect amount of frosting to apply to confections like the ching-chinging “Dreams Tonite,” a ’60s-paisley “In Undertow” and some punky moments of Primitives perfection, “Your Type” and “Lollipop (Ode To Jim).” Even if you get caught up in some of the songs’ breakup-themed negativity, in Rankin’s confident hands, kiss-offs never tasted so sweet.

Tom Lanham

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