The five year wait is nearly over for fans of the Canadian indie group Alvvays. The band announced their new album “Blue Rev” this week, to be released October 7th of this year under Polyvinyl Records. A new single accompanied this announcement. If their new song “Pharmacist” is any indication of the upcoming album, these five long Alvvays-less years were worth the wait.
2017’s album Antisocialites brought dreamy new success to the band via songs like “In Undertow” and “Dreams Tonight.” The fantastical forlorn album rolled right into the next, or so the band planned. A prolonged tour of the album, followed by a string of bad luck, pushed plans for finishing the writing and starting the recording process back significantly. When they finally recorded in fall of 2021, Alvvays played the entire album back-to-back twice in one day. With this impressive tear, aided by music producer Shawn Everette (Kacey Musgraves, The War on Drugs), Blue Rev was finally complete.
Our first taste of the new album is the whirlwind 2:04 minute track “Pharmacist.” Their signature fast, steady beat is in full force from the beginning. This is especially impressive considering the group lost a drummer and bassist in the hiatus. “Pharmacist” is a seamless welcome to their new rhythm section, comprised of Abbey Blackwell on bass and Sheridan Riley on the drums. Lead singer Molly Rankin‘s vocals are as dreamy as ever, complimented by the gentle cinematic effect of the track’s mixing. It’s undeniably toe-tappy, with underlying static reverb and a thrilling little guitar solo to close us out. While short, it’s incredibly efficient. It could even serve as a template for what singles in modern independent rock should strive for. An easy yet stirring listen, “Pharmacist” only heightens anticipation for Blue Rev.