On 2019’s debut album ‘Nothing Happens’, LA trio Wallows brought sparkling care-free indie of the now. Uplifting and urgent guitar lines coupled with heartfelt lyricism and even a Clairo collaboration, the formula proved familiar yet with enough zest to seal them as a force to be reckoned with – the whopping five millions streams in the release’s first week backed up such sentiment.
The LA trio would have undoubtedly grown in confidence and magnitude with slots on festival mainstages across the world this summer, following on from their European jaunt supporting Vampire Weekend last winter. Instead they’ve channeled an empty calendar into something positive, taking on a virtual world tour, hanging out with fans online and spending their quarantine making a follow-up EP, ‘Remote’.
It’s evident from the likes of ‘Coastlines’ that the band haven’t lost any of the cutting spirit they packed pre-lockdown. Euphoric Strokes-eque synths and bombast drum kicks make for a colossal start as singer Dylan Minnette angstily stabs; “I don’t wanna think about it / when we’re on different coastlines.” They wear the heartbreak well.
‘Nobody Gets Me (Like You)’ retains momentum with a modulated vocal and hooky grunge guitars, making sense of a relationship remains the focal point of the lyricism with twee lines like, “We only just met tonight / but I think we’ll put up a good fight / we’re not that simple / let’s see it through.” It’s also a moment that demonstrates the substance and scope of influence under the surface of their glimmering production, the track could easily slot into Ariel Pink’s catalogue as it could that of a mainstream indie juggernaut.
A focal point of the release comes with the colourful groove of ‘Virtual Aerobics’ which lurches deepest into Gen Z pop territory with slick vocals and playful lyrics (“Wanna dress in what makes you like me / I’ll probably overwear these Nikes / I’ll clean em’ off when they get a scuff / tell me when you think they’ve had enough.” The modern day romantic struggles are real and ridiculous, but extremely fun nonetheless.
Wallows aren’t out to re-write the history books of indie, but they’re clearly getting a kicks from exploring and pushing the genre into new ground. It’s an EP that offers up both clarity and consistency, serving as yet another reminder that lockdown wasn’t lost on everyone. This is a dizzying and immersive reintroduction of a band on top of their game.
- Release date: October 23
- Record label: Atlantic