Way back last year when the hottest new summer single “Marry Me, Archie” was melting the U.K.’s popsicles and causing a joyful raucous in the festival tents, Alvvays burrowed their way into the music lovers collective conscious. With their self-titled debut album firmly perched in every ‘albums of the year’ list, finally their dreamy indie pop touched down in the Midlands.
The sold out Bodega crowd on January 26th were nestled together, uncomfortably swaddled in chunky winter knits clutching their sloshing pints tight in anticipation for Alvvays’ blend of endearing, sugar coated fuzz-pop. A Monday night squeezed in tightly to welcome the Canadian’s melancholic romanticism to Nottingham.
First the Bodega treated support act, Moon King, to a lesson in good old-fashioned British manners and courtesy. The room stood completely hushed and attentive, much to the baffling curiosity of the young Canadians. Their singer, Daniel Woodhead, a youthful waif, mussed up his fringe and proclaimed the Bodega’s crowd the “Most quiet and appreciative ever, it’s really romantic.” Welcome to England, Moon King.
Like high school wallflowers Moon King brought an awkward, casual charm to their set, all wrapped in bedraggled haircuts and crumpled t-shirts. Woodhead’s almost effeminate vocals and guitarist Maddie Wilde’s Kim Gordon slurs created dirty harmonies and shouts for more, ending their set to a packed-out room, no mean feat for a support act here.
For their first time in Nottingham, Alvvays had packed excess baggage of effortless cool, a five-piece spectacle of pastel prints and oversized t-shirts, discussing British “candy” and making references Lord of the Rings. The audience was invited to join them for a drink in England’s oldest pub and, with acknowledging groans, learnt how to pronounce their name (it’s “always”).
The Toronto band has a knack for blissful summery tunes jarring with intelligently told tales of teenage romance and lyrical wit. Darker still, the jubilant summertime surfer melodies of “Next of Kin” with vocalist Molly Rankin’s carefree syrupy tones singing of drug-use and drowning made for an unnerving blend.
The shuffling beat and drowsy melody of “Ones Who Love You” hit the heartstrings of the crowd just as “Marry Me, Archie” sent a buzz of fuzz-fuelled guitar and contagious harmonies and covers of Deerhunter and The Primitives felt right at home in Alvvays’ set.
As the crowded began trickling outside into the frosty evening, Alvvays have made the dark January evening a little brighter. It looks to be a sunny year ahead for Alvvays.