Tag Archives: Alvvays

Bandcamp Daily Staffers on Their Favorite Albums of 2017

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J. Edward Keyes
Editorial Director

Look, globally speaking, this year was a trash fire. Of all of the art I consumed over the last 12 months, nothing felt more disconcertingly prescient than the harrowing, deeply unnerving conclusion of Twin Peaks: The Return. Its chilling, too-real final scene suggested that the scars of all trauma—personal and national—run deep, and we’d be foolish to think that by correcting one mistake, we’re able to eliminate the dark, gnarled roots of what caused it.

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The Best Albums of 2017: #20 – 1

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The wait is over. These are the 20 Best Albums of the year.

Last year, the Bandcamp Daily staff put together our first “Best Albums of the Year List,” 100 albums we felt defined 2016 for us. At the time I remember thinking, “This is tough, but it will probably get easier as the years go on.” Now, one year later, I’m realizing that I was wrong. The truth is, the world of Bandcamp is enormous, and it contains artists from all over the world, in every conceivable genre (including a few who exist in genres of their own invention), and at every stage of their career. The fact of the matter is, any list like this is going to fall short because, on Bandcamp, there is always more to discover. Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available. The albums that made this list, though, were the ones that stayed with us long after they were released—the ones we returned to again and again and found their pleasures undimmed, and their songs still rewarding. These are Bandcamp’s Best Albums of 2017.

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The Best Albums of Summer 2017

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Every three months, the Bandcamp Daily editorial staff combs through the stacks to present our favorite records of the year to date. The albums presented here run the stylistic spectrum, everything from noise to indiepop to hip-hop to everything in between. And if you like what you see here, check out our picks for winter and spring of 2017, too.

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Album of the Day: Alvvays, “Antisocialites”

Opening with a wash of candy keyboards and reverb before crashing against frontwoman Molly Rankin’s mournful, assured voice, Alvvays’ second record, Antisocialites, tugs on the threads of isolation, insecurity, loneliness, and anxiety. Rankin is sharp and firm, even in self-doubt: “Meditate, play solitaire, take up self-defense,” she lists, breezily filling voids in a post-breakup limbo. While Antisocialites plays as a breakup record of sorts, it takes a different approach than the traditional externalization of grief and regret. Instead, Rankin seems determined to keep her focus turned inward, poking and prodding at her own experiences.

The result is a record of abstracted fragments from a state of isolation, shaded by sporadic interactions, fleeting friendships, and gorgeous, gauzy guitar tones. “Your Type” details an inebriated romp through Paris, while “Lollipop (Ode to Jim)” recalls an encounter with Jesus and Mary Chain’s Jim Reid, replete with LSD and a chorus hook that rivals the addictive simplicity of “Archie, Marry Me,” from the band’s self-titled debut. Alvvays especially shine when they match disquieted, dreary subject matter with bright instruments and carefree pop melodicism.

On the closer “Forget About Life,” Alvvays bathe in the artificial glow of “condominium signs” as an invitation, a hint at a redemptive chance, a product of Rankin’s laborious journey of introspection and self-care; on Antisocialites, she and Alvvays have earned their moment of optimism.

—Luke Ottenhof