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Alvvays, 'Pharmacist'

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Alvvays' third album didn't come without struggle; the band's five-year path here was interrupted by an apartment break-in where demo tapes were stolen, a basement flood that damaged gear and complications at the Canadian border that resulted in delayed rehearsals. With difficulties finally behind them, the band has returned right on time with "Pharmacist."

The leading single off Blue Rev, which will be out in October, chronicles the story of pharmacy run-in narrated by vocalist Molly Rankin and backed by a swirling, shoegaze-y guitar. The band's synthy, indie-pop sound is maximalist, but not overloaded, closing out "Pharmacist" with a short, blown-out guitar solo.

The lyrical details in "Pharmacist" are short and memorable, but don't necessarily portray any one narrative. The song's concision enhances a theme of confusion: confusion about choice; confusion about what to do in a situation where the person you want to help is close enough to touch but not to confide in. But sometimes, just hearing the reassurance of, "I hear it happens all the time / It's alright" is enough.

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Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis
Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis is a production assistant on the NPR Music team.