Pleased to Meet You Spotlight: Alvvays | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Pleased to Meet You Spotlight: Alvvays

Northern Nomads

Aug 13, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Band Name: Alvvays

Members: Molly Rankin, Kerri MacLellan, Alec O’Hanley, Brian Murphy, Phil MacIsaac.

Where: Canada. Members are from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, but the band is now based in Toronto.

Foundation and Formation: Rankin and MacLellan were childhood friends before they were bandmates, growing up together and both playing the fiddle. By the tenth grade, Rankin picked up her first guitar: “The first song I learned to play was Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger,’” she recalls. After she graduated university, Rankin relocated to Halifax where she eventually met O’Hanley, who was then performing in east coast pop-rock bands Two Hours Traffic and The Danks. After some time, O’Hanley offered to help Rankin develop the songs she was writing. She adds, “It happened over the course of two years because he was really busy with touring at the time.”

When Rankin and O’Hanley had a handful of songs prepared, they rallied up a few hospitable friends (“I paid them nothing, I think I bought them a case of beer”) and drove to a mini-mall in Halifax to record an EP under Rankin’s name. Although it’s not hard to Google this three-song teaser, Rankin is hardly promoting it to anyone.

Since then, Rankin, O’Hanley, and members MacLellan, Murphy, and MacIsaac have all relocated to Toronto to embrace a bigger music scene and be closer to show opportunities. “We were doing a lot of one-offs and I was working so much so I could come to Toronto and play for two days,” Rankin says of the time the band spent travelling to and from the east coast. “We just got to a place where we decided we could just leave everything behind and come to Toronto.”

Shortly after moving to Toronto, the band packed up again to work with musician/producer Chad VanGaalen in Calgary for their self-titled debut album, now out on Polyvinyl Records.

Reference Points: Rankin lists both Teenage Fanclub and The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt as her influences, but Alvvays can also comfortably share a bill alongside Camera Obscura, Yumi Zouma, and Spoon, who they recently opened for.

Sound and Vision:

Releases: Alvvays, the band’s self-titled debut, is out now via Polyvinyl.



[Pick up or download the next issue of Under the Radar to read more from our interview with Alvvays.]


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