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Alvvays' self-titled debut album was released in 2014, leading to it topping the US college charts. Their second studio album, Antisocialites, was released on September 8, 2017. Alvvays was formed in Toronto. Molly Rankin, the group's singer-songwriter, is the daughter of John Morris Rankin, a fiddler with the Celtic folk family collective the Rankin Family, who enjoyed international success in the 1990s. Rankin grew up writing music with her neighbour, keyboardist Kerri MacLellan. She later met guitarist and partner Alec O'Hanley at a concert in her teen years. With the help of O'Hanley, Rankin quietly released a solo extended play titled She in 2010. Alvvays was formed the following year, with Rankin assembling MacLellan, O'Hanley, drummer Phil MacIsaac and bassist Brian Murphy to join the group. As the band grew up on neighbouring islands—Rankin and MacLellan on Cape Breton and O'Hanley, MacIsaac, and Murphy hailing from Prince Edward Island—Rankin was led to dub the band "merging of obscure islands in the east coast." She picked the name Alvvays because she liked that it had a "shred of sentiment and nostalgia." The spelling of the band name was due to the fact that there was already a band named Always signed to Sony.