Alvvays-Next of Kin

My jam of a band lately.


I love the entire album, Alvvays by the band Alvvays, and just can’t stop listening. They have many songs that have been featured, selling like crazy, and getting lots of “air ” time. A quintet formed from childhood friendship, Molly Rankin, Kerri MacLellan, Alec O’Hanley, Brian Murphy, and Phil MacIsaac are Alvvays from Toronto and Ontario, Canada. The video Archie Marry Me, introduced me to their music, but this song, “Next of Kin” is a favorite of mine.


Well, there is something amazing that happens when I listen carefully to the lyrics. In one moment, you are listening to a happy, poppy, surf beat about a cozy relationship of obvious attraction. Then all of a sudden, there is a shocking revelation that she is discussing a horrific drowning. It is subtle and certain innuendo, but I consider it to be a wild metaphor. I hear this lyrical story in a different way. I think it was a strong connection that oddly faded and was lost. Could she save it? She is trying to make sense of it all.

Hasn’t that happened? Yes, an imaginary expectation that is suddenly reality and then realistically, it becomes different. Pressure, worries, and life interfere with the ethereal heartfelt ideas and intercede where sometimes the mind and the heart should be the only ones attending . Yes, I get it. In my mind she loves this guy and something killed that moment. She says it in a way that might mean forever, but sometimes this barrier of awkwardness can be overcome and the depth of the relationship will survive. Isn’t life and experience a litmus test for your hopes and dreams of permanent connections with those you love?  A simple jangly song and I have made it tough food which needs certain decisive chewing, in hopes of a satisfying digestion.

I always worry about interpreting lyrics.

I am sure lyrics can and should be interpreted many different ways. I never suggest that my thoughts are the “right” ones.  Isn’t that what makes a song universal? Each person listening can hear an emphasis that perfectly suits their experience and then they connect in a way that forever makes them fuse their heart and soul to a song. I am thinking that happens to me in just about every song I choose to place here for you to listen.

My goal is the hope that you might also hear what I hear, connect with what I connect to, and/or just listen and feel something …….even if it is guiding your need to leave and sadly move on. No worries, my goal has been achieved.

I have a never ending need to express my feelings for music that moves me.

I just dog-gone love this song and this band. Listen……


We walked along the rocks for nearly an hour
I caught the way you looked at me in the sunlight
You took something before you went in the shower
You have suppressed the things that make you feel uptight

If I had known you couldn’t swim we would have never gone in

I left my love in the river
The only one who sees
I lost his hand in the current
It was the life I wanted and I hoped for
And now I’m left sifting through the leaves

His arms so hard, I saw his skin through his t-shirt
They grabbed so tight, he knew they wouldn’t defend
We climbed into the stream so no one will be heard
And in no time at all it wasn’t a sound

If I had known you couldn’t swim we would have never gone in

I left my love in the river
The only one who sees
I lost his hand in the current
It was the life I wanted and I hoped for
And now I’m left sifting through the leaves

No color to his skin, inform the next of kin
No color to his skin

I left my love in the river
The only one I see
I lost his hand in the current
And now I have grown through the trees

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Aaron U says:

    On a sad note, the lyrics must be especially relevant to Molly Rankin, whose father actually drowned.

    1. Carrie says:

      Oh my God, that is incredibly sad and horrific! Music tells a story and I weakly try to decipher that narrative, but it takes a village. Thank you for letting me know.
      I am curious, was that in an interview, do you know her, or did she talk about it at a concert?

  2. Saw them last night – they’re electrifying live – I predict a long successful career!

    1. Carrie says:

      Going to see them next week supporting the Decemberists!!!! Excited before, but now I am over the moon happy! Thx!

  3. Kevin says:

    yes, I became obsessed about the whole deal, i researched her father, John Rankin. He was a big influence on her, i believe he passed when she was 13. Very traumatic. Next of Kin lyrics brings up some imagery related to the accident.

    1. Carrie says:

      Sometimes the back story to a song can be fascinating, right? Inspiration for incredible music. I really liked their second album too. Thanks for the link.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s