Review: Alvvays’ “In Undertow”

Three years after the release of their self-titled debut, Canadian band Alvvays finally released the lead single, which is indie pop perfection, for their upcoming sophomore album “Antisocialites” on Tuesday.

The song, titled “In Undertow,” begins with a simple synth melody, and immediately transforms into slightly distorted guitar chords accompanied by a steady drum beat and bass line. Beautifully relaxed vocals from lead singer Molly Rankin blend in with the rest of the music, creating a dreamlike soundscape throughout the song.

In the track, Rankin gives a realistic perspective on a relationship going downhill. “You find a wave and try to hold on for as long as you can/ You made a mistake you’d like to erase and I understand,” she sings in the first verse.

Although the chorus essentially repeats the line “there’s no turning back” multiple times, it uses this repetition to great effect. The simplicity of the chorus, coupled with Rankin’s mellow vocals, creates a very chill atmosphere similar to that of “Archie, Marry Me” from the band’s self-titled effort; however, it lacks a certain rawness that made “Archie” such a great track.

“Don’t read in to psychology/ and won’t rely your mood for anything,” Rankin sings at the end of the second verse. Beautifully mirroring the last lines of the first verse, “can’t buy into astrology/ and won’t rely on the moon for anything,” she sings of remaining realistic and reasonable when things in a relationship are going wrong.

At last, Rankin comes to terms with the fact that the relationship has got to end in the third verse. “We toss and turn in undertow/ Time to let go,” she sings wistfully.

In a nutshell, “In Undertow” is a candid, shoegazey track that serves as a perfect summer slow jam for beach days and night drives.

Even though Alvvays’ new single falls a little short in comparison to songs like “Adult Diversion” and “Party Police” from their debut, this is still a very solid track. With its sunshiny vibes and hazy vocals, “In Undertow” shows promise for an absolutely wonderful sophomore album. A-

“Antisocialites” is available for pre-order and will drop September 8. Check out the track listing below.

  1. In Undertow
  2. Dreams Tonite
  3. Plimsoll Punks
  4. Your Type
  5. Not My Baby
  6. Hey
  7. Lollipop (Ode to Jim)
  8. Already Gone
  9. Saved By a Waif
  10. Forget About Life

Alvvays will also embark on an international tour in August to promote the album, which includes shows in Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

08-05 Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
08-05 Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
08-26 Belgrave Music Hall – Leeds, UK
08-27 Glasgow, Scotland – St. Luke’s
08-28 Sheffield, England – Leadmill
08-29 Southhampton, England – Talking Heads
09-01 Larmer Tree Garden, England – End of the Road Festival
09-03 Burmingham, England – Institute 2
09-04 Nottingham, England – Rescue Rooms
09-06 Oxford, England – Bullingdon Arms
09-07 Manchester, England – Gorilla
09-08 London, England – KoKo
09-09 Bristol, England – Thekla
09-11 Paris, France – Point Ephemere
09-12 Cologne, Germany – Blue Shell
09-13 Hamburg, Germany – Molotow
09-14 Berlin, Germany – Musik & Frieden
09-17 Utrecht, Netherlands – Ekko
09-18 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Bitterzoet
09-30 Long Beach, CA – Music Tastes Good Festival
10-03 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
10-05 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
10-06 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
10-07 Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel
10-11 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
10-12 Nashville, TN – Exit / In
10-13 Birmingham, AL – Saturn
10-14 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks
10-16 Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
10-17 Austin, TX – Mohawk
10-18 Dallas, TX – Trees
10-20 Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf
10-21 Pheonix, AZ – Valley Bar
10-24 San Francisco, CA – Fillmore
10-27 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
10-28 Seattle, WA – The Showbox
10-30 Salt Late City, UT – Urban Lounge
10-31 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
11-02 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
11-03 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
11-04 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
12-13 Toronto, Ontario – Mod Club
12-14 Toronto, Ontario – Mod Club
12-15 Toronto, Ontario – Mod Club
12-16 Toronto, Ontario – Mod Club

Photo by Paul Hudson. Check out his Flickr here:



One thought on “Review: Alvvays’ “In Undertow”

Add yours

  1. Sounds like an awesome song and band. I was going to listen to the track but I wanted to save it for one of our beach days this summer. Or maybe a night drive.


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