Union Transfer

1026 SPRING GARDEN STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19123 Ι 215-232-2100

Alvvays

Alvvays

Nap Eyes

Fri, October 6, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

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This event is all ages

Alvvays
Alvvays
Antisocialites – the much-anticipated follow-up to Alvvays’ 2014 self-titled debut – is set for release on September 8th. Across its 10 tracks and 33 minutes the Toronto-based group dive back into the deep end of reckless romance and altered dates. Through thoughtful consideration in basement and abroad, Alvvays has renewed its Scot-pop vows with a powerful new collection of manic emotional collage.

The album opens with the excellent strum-’n-thrummer ‘In Undertow,’ a hi-amp breakup fantasy that is both crushing and charming for its level-headedness. "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," sings Rankin, her voice full longing not for another person necessarily, but for what to do next. "Meditate, play solitaire, take up self-defense," Molly continues, laundry-listing some strategies for moving on. "What's next for you and me? I'll take suggestions," she deadpans under crashing waves of feedback and Farfisa.

Replete with more songs about drinking (‘Forget About Life,’ ‘Hey’), drugging (‘Lollipop (Ode To Jim)’), and drowning (‘Already Gone’), Antisocialites is a multipolar period piece fueled by isolation and loss. Perversely enjoyable dark drama springs from Rankin’s phonetic twists, quick-sung rhymes and irreverent syllable-play. “So morose for me, seeing ghosts of me, writing oaths to me,” the self-described introvert sings on the Cocteau-pop stunner ‘Dreams Tonite,’ the song from which the album’s name is derived. “In fluorescent light, antisocialites watch a wilting flower.”

To write Antisocialites, Rankin traveled to Toronto Island -- working in an abandoned classroom by day and sleeping a few feet from shore at night -- to avoid a stifling heat wave in the city. “I carried a small PA on the ferry in a wheelbarrow,” she recalls. “Every morning I would listen to my favorite records on the beach, then I’d write melodies and record demos in the classroom.” After tracking with keyboardist Kerri MacLellan and bassist Brian Murphy at Kingsize in LA, Rankin and guitarist Alec O’Hanley continued recording and mixing in their Toronto basement. A few friends descended to play on the record, including Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake.

Antisocialites details a world of ice cream truck jingles and radiophonic workshop noise, where Rankin's shining wit is refracted through crystalline counterpoint. ‘Not My Baby’ is a centerpiece, a meditation on the rapture of escape following the sadness of separation. Elsewhere, ‘Plimsoll Punks’ is the band’s answer to Television Personalities’ ‘Part-Time Punks’ and a winking surf opus indictment of the self-righteous who intend to condescend. Molly wrote the rapid-fire sugar stream ‘Lollipop (Ode to Jim)’ after singing ‘Just Like Honey’ with Jesus and Mary Chain. ‘Your Type’ is a beautiful primitive stomp about running around Paris with vomit on your feet post-Louvre ejection.

The record concludes with a movement that is at once stark and celebratory. On ‘Forget About Life,’ the apartment stands in disarray as undrinkable wine is inhaled: “When the failures of the past multiply and you trivialize the things that keep your hand from mine, did you want to forget about life with me tonite?” The resonant freaks in Rankin’s tales don’t find much resolve, but with equal doses of black humor and heartstring-tugging, Antisocialites rings a truer tone.
Nap Eyes
Nap Eyes
Hailing from Nova Scotia, Nap Eyes makes crooked, literate guitar pop refracted through the gray Halifax rain. Recorded live to tape with no overdubs, their songs are equal parts shambling and sophisticated, with one eye on the dirt and one trained on the starry firmament, inhabiting a skewed world where odes to NASA and the Earth's magnetic field coexist easily with lyrics about insomnia and drinking too much.

In the world of Nap Eyes, workaday details punctuate (and puncture) cosmic concerns, as songwriter, singer, and rhythm guitarist Nigel Chapman wrestles with air and angels, struggling (and often failing) to reconcile the Romantic rifts, both real and imagined, that define our lives: between chaos and order; solipsism and fellowship; the anxiety of social (dis)orders both big and small; and the various intersections and oppositions of religion, art, and science. The latter three collapsing categories ring particularly relevant for Chapman, a biochemist who spends his weekdays in a research lab, mutating the gene/DNA encoding of a cell-surface receptor protein. As with us all, our diurnal labor and studies inform our creativity, day creeps into night, and so it's no surprise that sicknesses of "brain protein aggregation" and "up-regulated oncogene" appear in Nap Eyes songs, infecting, by proximity, the more traditionally songwriterly tropes of heart sickness. The songs resonate because they manage to delicately balance the cryptic and the quotidian, rendering a compellingly honest equivocation without evasiveness, a relatable ambivalence without apathy.

In typically insular Halifax music scene fashion, Nap Eyes shares three of its four members-Josh Salter (bass), Seamus Dalton (drums), and Brad Loughead (lead guitar)-with two other notable local bands, kindred spirits and sometime touring partners Monomyth (Josh and Seamus's project) and Each Other (which includes Brad as well as Nap Eyes recording engineer Mike Wright.) They're old friends who have collaborated in various configurations over the past decade; Nigel and Brad met in high school at rock and roll camp. Though the indelibly wistful vocal melodies are Nigel's, Josh, Seamus, and Brad are the primary architects of Nap Eyes' keen sonic signature, which cruises briskly and beautifully along the dog-eared axes of jangle-jaded Oceanic pop music (The Clean, The Verlaines, The Go-Betweens), and through the backpages of Peter Perrett (The Only Ones, England's Glory) and Nikki Sudden (Swell Maps, Jacobites), via all things Lou Reed and Modern Lovers, without ever sounding very much like anything else happening today.

Part of the secret of Nap Eyes may reside in their avowed recording method, which eschews any overdubs in favor of capturing the immediacy and singularity of full-band live performances. Nigel explains their methodology best: "You get the feeling of the song; everyone's feeling, all as one take in time, so things fit together naturally, and even mistakes sound natural. This not to discredit any of the incredible recordings made by different principles; it's just its own kettle of fish." As a result, both lyrically and musically, the music of Nap Eyes articulates the urgency of youthful grace. It's the sound of being young and alive in the city, a tenuous and impermanent counterpoise of recklessness and anxiety, archness and earnestness.

Following the July 2015 reissue of their 2014 debut Whine of the Mystic-available in Canada from You've Changed Records and in the rest of the world from Paradise of Bachelors-Nap Eyes released an album of all-new material entitled Thought Rock Fish Scale in early 2016. The critically acclaimed album, described by Pitchfork as "brimming with passion and protest," was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123