Canadian jangle pop band Alvvays have always (pun intended) emphasis on strong melodies rather than a specific genre, so it’s no surprise that their self-titled blew up. Tracks like ‘Archie, Marry Me‘ and ‘Adult Diversion‘ were an instant bop and since then, Alvvays have been rockin’ stages at Glastonbury, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and more.
Their second album, Antisocialites sees frontwoman Molly Rankin talks about observations and reflections in life, drawing experiences from her own journey. With even stronger melodies and lyrics – the album received more love than expected and even won them a Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year.
Before grooving us to their dreamy tunes at Unlimited Grooves Festival Pre-Party happening on Thursday (8 Nov), we had a chat with Molly Rankin to talk about their new album, life tings and also, Netflix.
Hey Molly, thanks for chatting today.
You bet. It’s early where you are, right?
Yeah, it’s about 10am where I am right now.
[chuckles] It’s night time here.
So you guys have been on tour since ‘Antisocialites’ was released. How has that been?
I think that this record cycle has been more humane for everyone. We had a few little breaks in between trips and schedule some time for me to be creative in between trips. I think there’d probably be more shows we created in a shorter span of time but, we were prepared for hectic times a lil’ bit better this time.
Yeah, I feel like it’s important to take a step back and recollect your energy, especially when you’re on the road most of the time.
Yeah, yeah. We have a little bit more help now, we have a tour manager so that’s a big difference.
What helps when you’re homesick?
Um, I don’t usually get homesick. I like to be on tour, I like to be busy because it keeps my mind healthy? [chuckles] and.. I had moved around in Canada so much that I really don’t feel beyond where I’m originally from. I don’t feel particularly homesick of anywhere else.
Speaking of ‘Antisocialites’, we love that album, obviously. I think you said in an interview that you retreated into a secluded Toronto Island to write.
Yeah, there’s an island! You can take a ferry to go there.
How was that like? Being on your own to write.
Yeah, that’s always been my ideal scenario to write songs and have little resources and human interaction, so generally when I get back from a long trip like touring, I like to go work somewhere no one else is because [chuckles] I’m constantly surrounded by people when I’m traveling .
Sounds like you had nice time.
Yeah that place in Toronto is really nice. There’s no place to get groceries or… Maybe there’s a small store but um, it sort of cuts you off from all the chaos of living in a really busy, big, exciting city.
I see. So when you guys record an album, do you come up with a specific idea and work from there?
A lot of the time I just try to write as many songs as I can, songs that I feel are strong and resonate with me… And when I have enough songs then I decide to record formally. It’s usually demo all along that time of working and sometimes we keep the things that we demo and choose them in the final recording that has that magic.. moment factor in them but uh, I think my mood sort of rings true a whole record but I’ not really a concept album person. It’s more of like a collage of short stories. Just running themes
‘Antisocialites’ speaks largely about observations and reflections in life. How important do you think for people to have that kind of mindset?
Well I guess that’s just part of cutting yourself off from a lot of things and be in another world. It is what happens with reflections. I don’t know, I think a lot of writers do reflect and I’m not sure that makes me in any way but that’s definitely something that I like to do in order to take a story into another place. I like to draw from my own experience in an indirect way I guess?
What’s your mantra, or you know a life motto or something that kinda gives you a push whenever things get tough?
Uh… I don’t know. I don’t think people have to sleep as much as they think they do [chuckles] but I try not to watch too much TV.
[chuckles] I think that’s good advice.
We’re in a really golden era of great television and I think it’s a bit of productivity tract.
Yeah, especially with Netflix around. There’s always something new to binge on.
Oh yeah and I guess you just sort of get… You feel like you’re always behind when people are talking about a show, because when a television show is really great everyone just wants to talk about it all the time. It can be a bit alienating.
Yeah, like you’re outdated or something. Someone will go “Oh you don’t watch this show? It was premiered last week!” Yeah okay…
[laughs] yeah, yeah.
We’re excited to see you guys in Kuala Lumpur for the Urbanscapes pre-party.
Yeah. Hopefully we’ll get to meet. Will you guys be around?
We will and hopefully! Anyway, thanks again for chatting guys, see you soon!
Okay cool. Thank you, see you!