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(Credit: Eleanor Petry)

Music

Alvvays announce new studio album 'Blue Rev' with new single

Alvvays - 'Pharmacist'
7.2

It’s been a full half-decade since Canadian indie rockers Alvvays released their sophomore album Antisocialites. After waiting what seems like forever, indie pop’s premiere act have officially returned to announce their third album Blue Rev, along with the album’s first single, ‘Pharmacist’.

‘Pharmacist’ takes Alvvays signature guitar rock and brings it down a prominent shoegaze path. Pedals, effects, and psychedelic swirls were never foreign to Alvvays, with tracks like ‘Red Planet’ and ‘Forget About Life’ floating off to strange and spacey alternate worlds, but ‘Blue Rev’ packs in a whole host of sounds in just two minutes, including Molly Rankin’s dreamy vocals, key changes, and lo-fi breakdowns.

When a guitar solo breaks out of the ether, it too is different from the jangly lead lines that have come from the band’s past two albums. In its place is a discordant, fuzzy, and aggressively wonky solo that is completely unlike anything else that band co-leader Alec O’Hanley has unfurled in the past.

The only thing that ‘Pharmacist’ doesn’t have is a major hook at its centre. Alvvays have been one of the greatest examples of why the “pop” in “indie-pop” isn’t actually a dirty word, and previous songs like ‘Archie, Marry Me’, ‘Next of Kin’, ‘Atop A Cake’, ‘In Undertow’ and ‘Dreams Tonite’ showed that crossover catchiness was one of the band’s secret weapons.

Just because ‘Pharmacist’ doesn’t have those same earworm qualities doesn’t really matter: there were likely be lots of poppy melodies and wonky indie rock throughout Blue Rev, and I for one and just relieved to have one of the 2010s’ best bands back in contemporary fighting form.

Check out the audio for ‘Pharmacist’ plus the tracklisting for Blue Rev down below. Blue Rev is scheduled for an October 7th release.

Blue Rev tracklisting:

1. ‘Pharmacist’
2. ‘Easy On Your Own?’
3. ‘After The Earthquake’
4. ‘Tom Verlaine’
5. ‘Pressed’
6. ‘Many Mirrors’
7. ‘Very Online Guy’
8. ‘Velveteen’
9. ‘Tile By Tile’
10. ‘Pomeranian Spinster’
11. ‘Belinda Says’
12. ‘Bored in Bristol’
13. ‘Lottery Noises’
14. ‘Fourth Figure’