Born in the Maritimes and based in Toronto, Alvvays has worked tirelessly for years to become an overnight sensation. After several stops and starts, the band recorded their debut record with Calgary’s Chad VanGaalen and gingerly stepped along the path to success. Small shows, showcases and tours were undertaken, laying the groundwork for what would become one of Canada’s top international breakout artists of the year.
Released on July 22, 2014 on Royal Mountain Records (Canada), Polyvinyl Records (USA) and Transgressive Records (Europe) it achieved “Best Album of the Year” status from the likes of Rolling Stone, Paste, NME, CBC and more, with cover stories in outlets like Exclaim and NOW Magazine. Votes for “Best Song of The Year” for their single “Archie, Marry Me” flooded in from Pitchfork, NPR, Fader, CBC and Drowned in Sound. The album’s American debut at #1 at college radio was the first time a debut album from any artist had achieved that feat. The release ultimately went on to be shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize and nominated for two Juno Awards.
By reaching RSF eligibility, the band was able to continue to tour internationally. Support tours in the US and the UK bridged the gap between initial, small headlining tours and raised their profile in order to return and build momentum throughout North America and Europe. With return trips to international markets, they continued to maintain their presence and saw continued coverage, particularly from the fickle British press. In the States, “Archie, Marry Me” charted at college and AAA radio, while the band performed radio-sessions and interviews on the road.
With assistance through the Domestic and International Marketing programs, the Radio Starmaker Fund helped Alvvays extend its album cycle. The band has been able to continue to build momentum and attract new fans. Over a year and a half after the release of the record, sales are still strong. By lengthening the life of the album cycle, the band shifted towards the summer festival season with bookings at major festivals worldwide including Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, Way Home and Osheaga. They are already confirmed for 2016’s Coachella Festival, the Corona Festival in Mexico City and the Estereo Festival in Bogota, Columbia.
At home in Canada, the band is now established as one of Canada’s rising stars, with an emerging career at commercial radio. In October, they toured Eastern Canada as headliners and wrap up the year in Toronto for two sold out shows in December at the Danforth Music Hall. We are profoundly grateful for the support of The Radio Starmaker Fund in playing an integral role in the band’s burgeoning career.
Adam “Bix” Berger
Royal Mountain Records & Management