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Alvvays performing in London in 2014
Alvvays performing in London in 2014
Background information
OriginCharlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Years active2011 (2011)–present
LabelsRoyal Mountain (Canada)
Polyvinyl (US)
Transgressive (Europe)
Pod / Inertia Music (Australia)
MembersMolly Rankin
Kerri MacLellan
Alec O'Hanley
Sheridan Riley
Abbey Blackwell
Past membersPhil MacIsaac
Brian Murphy

Alvvays (pronounced "always") is a Canadian indie pop band formed in 2011, originating from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and currently based in Toronto, Ontario. It consists of Molly Rankin (vocals and guitar), Kerri MacLellan (keyboards), Alec O'Hanley (guitars), Abbey Blackwell (bass), and Sheridan Riley (drums). Their self-titled debut album, released in 2014, topped the US college charts.[3] Their second studio album, Antisocialites, was released on September 8, 2017, and won the Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2018. Both albums were short-listed for the Polaris Music Prize. Their third album, Blue Rev, was released on October 7, 2022.


Formation and early years (2011–2015)[edit]

Alvvays performing at the 2014 Hillside Festival

Molly Rankin, the group's singer-songwriter, is the daughter of John Morris Rankin,[4] a fiddler with the Celtic folk family collective the Rankin Family, who enjoyed international success in the 1990s.[5][6] Rankin grew up in Mabou, Nova Scotia, writing music with her neighbour, keyboardist Kerri MacLellan. She later met guitarist and partner Alec O'Hanley at a concert. With the help of O'Hanley, Rankin quietly released a solo extended play titled She in 2010.[7] Alvvays was formed the following year, with Rankin recruiting MacLellan, O'Hanley, drummer Phil MacIsaac and bassist Brian Murphy.[8] Rankin picked the name Alvvays because it had a "shred of sentiment and nostalgia."[9] The spelling of the band name was due to the fact that there was already a band named Always signed to Sony.[10]

Alvvays performing at the Sasquatch! Music Festival in 2015

The band members moved to Toronto and secured jobs that allowed them to tour occasionally.[11] The group toured extensively as supporting acts for bands such as Peter Bjorn and John and the Decemberists.[12][8] Their self-titled debut studio album, Alvvays, was recorded in Calgary with Chad VanGaalen in March 2013; Graham Walsh helped track the album while John Agnello helped mix it.[9][6]

Alvvays were signed to Polyvinyl Records (US) on the strength of their performances at SXSW (South by Southwest)[13] and online response to the demo of their single "Adult Diversion".[8] The album Alvvays was released by Royal Mountain Records (Canada), Polyvinyl Records (US) and Transgressive Records (Europe) in July 2014.[14] Simon Vozick-Levinson, writing in Rolling Stone, called the album an "indie-pop wonder".[15] Alvvays went to #1 on US college charts on August 5, 2014;[16] in November that year they performed in Los Angeles with another Canadian band, Absolutely Free.[17]

"Archie, Marry Me" became a minor hit.[10] The single for "Archie, Marry Me" featured the B-side "Underneath Us" which was recorded after the eponymous album.[18]

The group toured heavily in support of their debut, including slots at Glastonbury 2015 and Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2016.[19]

The debut album was nominated to the shortlist of the 2015 Polaris Music Prize. They performed at that year's gala with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. At the Juno Awards of 2015, the band was nominated as Breakthrough Group of the Year, and Alvvays was nominated for Alternative Album of the Year.[20]

Antisocialites (2016–2018)[edit]

Alvvays began recording and writing their second studio album in 2015.[19] Several new original songs had been performed throughout 2014 and 2015, including "Your Type" (often the opening song of the show), "New Haircut" (later retitled "Saved By A Waif") and "Hey". In 2016 they added "Not My Baby" and "Dreams" to their performance repertoire.[21]

Following the addition of new songs such as "Plimsoll Punks" as part of live shows in spring 2017, Alvvays released a teaser clip of a song called "In Undertow" from their second album, Antisocialites. Along with songs performed at previous shows, new songs for this record included "Already Gone", "Forget About Life", "In Undertow", "Lollipop (Ode to Jim)" and "Saved by a Waif". The album was released on September 8, 2017. A North American and European tour in support of the album was announced for autumn 2017. In 2016, Phil MacIsaac left the music industry for a career in graphic design;[22] he was replaced by Sheridan Riley.[23] A second UK tour in spring 2018 was announced in September 2017.

On September 16, 2017, at a show in Antwerp, a male audience member jumped on stage and attempted to kiss singer Molly Rankin. Ken Veerman, the director at Trix, the show’s venue, apologized on Facebook.

In 2018 the band received a SOCAN Songwriting Prize nomination for the song "Dreams Tonite",[24] and Antisocialites was shortlisted for the 2018 Polaris Music Prize.[25] At the Juno Awards of 2018, Alvvays was nominated as Group of the Year and Antisocialites won the Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year.[26]

Blue Rev (2021–present)[edit]

Alvvays performing at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, 2022

Between 2019 and 2022, members of Alvvays largely stayed out of the public eye, rarely posting on social media. The radio silence led to memes and rumors the band had disbanded. Bassist and founding member Brian Murphy left the band in 2021.[27][28] Alvvays released "Pharmacist", the first single from their third album Blue Rev, on July 6, 2022. Blue Rev was released on October 7, 2022.[29]

Musical style and influences[edit]

Alvvays' music has been described as jangle pop by the music press and its members. According to Rankin, the band's emphasis is primarily on strong melodies rather than for a specific genre.[9] The band has been compared to Camera Obscura; Rankin noted she shared vocalist Tracyanne Campbell's "fondness for the pathetic perspective."[10] Rankin sought inspiration from Stephin Merritt, frontman of the Magnetic Fields, appreciating the honest but lighthearted nature of his lyrics.[7] Rankin's personal influences include the Magnetic Fields, Teenage Fanclub, Dolly Mixture, the Smiths, Celine Dion, Pavement, the Primitives, and Oasis.[10][9] While the band does not have an overt Celtic music sound, Rankin acknowledges that she was immersed in the genre from childhood, and it has a discernible influence on the way she sings and writes melodies.[30]


Current members[edit]

  • Molly Rankin – vocals, rhythm guitar (2011–present), bass (2022–present)
  • Kerri MacLellan – keyboards, backing vocals (2011–present)
  • Alec O'Hanley – lead guitar (2011–present)
  • Sheridan Riley – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2017–present)[31]
  • Abbey Blackwell – bass (2021–present)[32]

Past members[edit]

  • Phil MacIsaac – drums (2011–2016)
  • Brian Murphy – bass guitar (2011–2021)



List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions






Alvvays 107 17 [A]
  • Released: September 8, 2017
  • Label(s): Polyvinyl (US)
    Royal Mountain (Canada)
    Transgressive (Europe)
    Pod / Inertia Music (Australia)
36 8 22 28 6 82 7 14
Blue Rev
  • Released: October 7, 2022
  • Label(s): Polyvinyl, Celsius Girls
75 6 33 6 27 2 61 8 8
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album


"Archie, Marry Me" 2013 Alvvays
"Adult Diversion" 2014
"Next of Kin"
"Party Police"
"In Undertow" 2017 48 Antisocialites
"Not My Baby"
"Dreams Tonite"
"Plimsoll Punks"
"Pharmacist" 2022 Blue Rev
"Easy On Your Own?" 50 32
"Belinda Says"
"After the Earthquake"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Music videos[edit]

  • 2013: "Adult Diversion"
  • 2014: "Archie, Marry Me"
  • 2014: "Next of Kin"
  • 2017: "In Undertow"
  • 2017: "Dreams Tonite"
  • 2022: "Pharmacist"
  • 2022: "Easy On Your Own?"
  • 2022: "Very Online Guy"
  • 2022: "Belinda Says"
  • 2022: "After the Earthquake"
  • 2022: "Many Mirrors"


  1. ^ Alvvays did not enter the US Billboard 200, but peaked at number 12 on the US Heatseekers Albums Chart.[43]


  1. ^ Goodrich, Matthrew (September 7, 2017), "Anti-Social Antisocialites: Alvvays On Their Sophomore Record", Brooklyn Magazine, retrieved October 3, 2017
  2. ^ "Alvvays keep jangle-pop alive". San Diego City Beat. November 19, 2014. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  3. ^ "The NACC Charts for October 24". October 24, 2017.
  4. ^ "John Morris Rankin Obituary". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  5. ^ "Alvvays’s Molly Rankin broke with family tradition". The Georgia Straight, November 26, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Brad Wheeler (July 29, 2014). "Alvvays: 'Nobody talks about the adventurous kind of love'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Hannah Ghorashi (November 23, 2013). "Discovery: Alvvays". Interview. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Scott Kerr. "Alvvays: Biography & History". Allmusic. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d Rebecca Schiller (November 21, 2014). "Alvvays Singer Molly Rankin on Starting a New Band, Chad VanGaalen's 'Weird' Studio". Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d Ilana Kaplan (March 11, 2015). "SXSW Lone Stars: Alvvays on Archie's Identity and Scot-Pop". Spin. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  11. ^ Philip Cosores (July 22, 2014). "Alvvays: The Best of What's Next". Paste. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  12. ^ "The Decemberists + Alvvays: 6 April 2015 – Beacon Theatre, New York". PopMatters. April 13, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  13. ^ "Alvvays, Next of Kin, Mohawk Patio at SXSW, Austin, 19.3.15". YouTube. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  14. ^ Alvvays: "Archie, Marry Me". Stereogum.
  15. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (July 14, 2014). "Alvvays 'Alvvays' Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  16. ^ "CMJ Charts: August 5, 2014". CMJ. Archived from the original on August 14, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  17. ^ "Live Review: Alvvays at Acerogami in Pomona (11/26)". Consequences of Sound, by Philip Cosores, on November 27, 2014
  18. ^ Blog, N. M. E. (July 9, 2014). "Track Premiere – Alvvays, 'Underneath Us'". NME. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  19. ^ a b Adrian Spinelli (September 21, 2015). "Catching Up with Alvvays". Paste. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  20. ^ "Past Nominees & Winners". Juno Awards. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  21. ^ "We need to talk about these new Alvvays songs". DIY. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  22. ^ Sturgeon, Nathalie. "'A case of the empties'". CBC News. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
  23. ^ "An Interview with Sheridan Riley". Movement Drum Company. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  24. ^ "2018 SOCAN Songwriting Prize Nominees Revealed". Exclaim!, May 24, 2018.
  25. ^ "Polaris Music Prize Reveals 2018 Short List". Exclaim!, July 17, 2018.
  26. ^ "Junos 2018: the complete list of winners". CBC News, · March 25, 2018
  27. ^ Hayhoe, Beau (September 6, 2022). ""Pharmacist" Signals an Impressive, Long-Awaited Return for Alvvays". Atwood Magazine. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  28. ^ Tenreyro, Tatiana (October 7, 2022). "Alvvays Faced Down Challenges (and Came Out Better for Them) to Make Blue Rev". Spin. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  29. ^ Brodsky, Rachel (July 6, 2022). "Alvvays Announce New Album 'Blue Rev': Hear "Pharmacist"". Stereogum. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  30. ^ "Toronto's Alvvays welcome you to the jangle on their debut album". Aux, August 5, 2014.
  31. ^ "Alvvays-- Lollapalooza Interview, 2017". Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  32. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (July 6, 2022). "'Ready for Some Levity': Alvvays Brighten Up Their Indie-Pop Dream". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  33. ^ "Alvvays – Chart History: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 18, 2022.
  34. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 17 October 2022". The ARIA Report. No. 1702. Australian Recording Industry Association. October 17, 2022. p. 24.
  35. ^ "Alvvays - Blue Rev -". Dutch Charts. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  36. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. September 18, 2017. Archived from the original on September 15, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  37. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  38. ^ Peaks in the UK:
  39. ^ Peaks on the UK Independent Albums Chart:
  40. ^ "Alvvays – Chart History". Retrieved October 18, 2022.
  41. ^ "Alvvays – Independent Albums Chart History". Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  42. ^ "Alvvays – Top Rock Albums Chart History". Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  43. ^ "Alvvays – Chart History". Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  44. ^ "Alvvays: Canada Rock". Billboard. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  45. ^ "Alvvays: Adult Alternative Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  46. ^ a b "Canadian certifications – Alvvays". Music Canada. Retrieved December 21, 2022.

External links[edit]