Published Jul 26, 2015Alvvays' early daytime slot felt like a scheduling oversight by festival organizers. But then, few could have predicted the band's meteoric rise, which culminated in their debut album recently being shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize.
Taking the stage to a triumphant Celtic instrumental, the band exude a relaxed confidence that's been honed over the last couple of years of relentless touring. "It's nice to be in Ontario," said Rankin a couple of songs in. A native of Prince Edward Island, she admitted, "I never thought I'd say that five years ago. I feel it deeply though."
The ramshackle charm of their recordings was matched by increasing interplay between band members on stage, underscored by the lone new track the quintet offered up. Early performances saw singer-guitarist Rankin try to fade into the background with her bandmates, but she's grown into her role as the group's focal point onstage, yelping into the mic during instrumental breaks.
Massive singles "Archie, Marry Me" and "The Agency Group" were met with unsurprisingly fervent receptions. But deeper cuts like "Ones Who Love You" and "Party Police" were equally well-received. The band's biggest flaw at the moment is a dearth of material; when they finally get around to recording a follow-up (their self-titled debut was originally tracked as a Rankin solo album in 2011), expect even bigger things from this little-band-that-could.