Ever want to drink the best indie album of 2022? Well, you can’t, but you can now slosh it around inside a record. To commemorate the one-year anniversary of their album Blue Rev, Alvvays have announced a super-limited-edition reissue filled with the sugary alcoholic beverage the LP is named after. It sold out nearly instantly, naturally.
The Canadian band worked with the custom vinyl manufacturer Romanus Records to produce just 50 copies of the reissue, piping vodka-based cola into the vinyl to create a trippy, translucent mixture that moves throughout. “Making these things is a very specific, laborious process,” lead singer Molly Rankin tells Rolling Stone over Zoom. “I know that there were a few failures.”
Rankin adds that the lengthy, somewhat quixotic process of making the 50 LPs appealed to Alvvays. “It does play into the essence of our band, because we release albums with so much time in between and we [have] a ‘less is more’ kind of ideology,” she says. “It’s very on-brand for us.”
Despite naming her band’s third album after the beverage, Rankin admits she hasn’t tasted Blue Rev in 20 years, nor has she heard from the alcohol company that makes it since the album came out. “I feel kind of bad, because every time people ask me what it tastes like, I say it’s disgusting,” she says. “I don’t know how to reconcile that. It is a cultural hallmark of my youth, so whether it’s gross or not, it remains vivid and a cornerstone.”
Alvvays released Blue Rev in October 2022, landing at Number 12 on Rolling Stone‘s year-end albums list later that year. Last month, the band earned their first-ever Grammy nomination for the Blue Rev favorite “Belinda Says,” which is up for Best Alternative Music Performance. Rankin says the band will most likely attend the awards ceremony, noting it’s a full-circle moment since the album was recorded at Los Angeles’ Sunset Sound.
“It’s such a rare thing,” Rankin says of the nomination. “Just cracking into that world without a big muscular infrastructure …it is a really tough arena to get your foot into the door. So I think it’s just neat that we’ve done it. And everyone in the band has played on the record, so we all feel like we’re part of this thing that we made together. Normally it’s just a bunch of people that happened to be available on that specific day or something, in the way that we would throw albums together in the past. This is a unique unit for us, and a nice little celebration.”
Rankin recalls the moment the Grammy nomination was announced, when she was in the middle of a lengthy interview. “I was scoping our whole discography, and my phone was just going crazy and I didn’t want to be rude, so I wasn’t looking at anything,” she says. “But I did have a stockpile of unread messages after it was over. [The band] got on the phone and were just laughing about it, because we have very meek expectations and always have. So it’s just been a really silly, fun thing to embrace.”
Following their shows in Australia and New Zealand, the band is slated to take a much-needed break from touring. They’ll resume in the spring of 2024, embarking on a trek in North America. Alvvays’ self-titled debut will turn 10 years old next summer, but Rankin says celebration plans are still up in the air.
“There are a lot of different brainstorming hubs going on,” she says. “I haven’t figured out what the appropriate thing to do is. Anniversaries, they’re plentiful these days. But yeah, it’s crazy to think that that was 10 years ago. Time really flies. We’ll do something special.”
In the meantime, they’re happy for the 50 lucky fans who got to preorder the Blue Rev-filled Blue Rev vinyl. “They look very vibrant and correct,” Rankin says, breaking out into a laugh. “That’s a great selling point: ‘They look correct!’”