The concept of Alvvay’s new single “Dreams Tonite,” off their Polyvinyl sophomore album Antisocialites, is one of the poet’s wandering mind: “If I saw you on the street would I have you in my dreams tonight?” frontwoman Molly Rankin sings. Amplified, the reality-to-dream interchange can warp the experience of real life. “Dreams tonite” is on-brand for Alvvays, and also whimsical because it applies a time-traveling gloss. History becomes the future.
“Dreams Tonite,” aptly misspelled, is directed by Matt Johnson and consists of footage from Expo 67 or the 1967 World’s Fair in Montreal. The band is digitally placed in the video—hardly noticeable—but it adds to the eerie, white-washed nature of the video’s picture quality. Everything in this 1967 world is engineered to be perfect. “Live your life on a merry go round / Who starts a fire just to let it go out,” Rankin sings as the dangerously open-air pastel box cars make smooth turns across the screen. She’s poised onstage at the fair—her face looks ephemeral, passive and tired of searching.
Expo 67 in Montreal, from a historical perspective, was intended as a true global village—a Utopia where millions flocked to a pair of islands on the St. Lawrence river for a metropolitan future-scape. New technology was on display. Everyone was ambitious, chic and mostly white. Alvvays may be, at least, questioning their own nostalgia, dissociation, and as Rankin said of the album as a whole, “envisioning cinematic narratives.”
Read Paste’s review of Antisocialites here, watch the video for “Dreams Tonite” above and the clip for “In Undertow” below.