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Wallows validate place in indie music scene with sophomore album

It’s difficult to stand out as an L.A. based indie band who sings about insecurities, relationships and sadness. However, Wallows have never had a problem holding the attention of a crowd.

May 3, 2022

It’s difficult to stand out as an L.A. based indie band who sings about insecurities, relationships and sadness. However, Wallows have never had a problem holding the attention of a crowd. The band’s second LP, “Tell Me That It’s Over,” comes ahead of a substantial world tour, with a handful of dates already sold out. Along with this, they have the platinum single “Are You Bored Yet? Feat. Clairo” from their 2019 debut album “Nothing Happens” already under their belts.

With their sophomore album, Wallows once again flaunt their talents by crafting a captivating soundtrack while contradicting their upbeat essence by singing about their self-doubts.

“Tell Me That It’s Over” flows in a way that is borderline cinematic. While listening, you can’t wait to see what comes next; the words are so excellently written your mind creates images for them. The album is perfectly filled with rich string arrangements on opener “Hard to Believe” and “That’s What I Get.” The bold cello strikes that serve as an opening for the album set the tone for the broad range and variety that Wallows accomplish within the tracks. The unexpected techno-sonic influences make each song unique from the next.

On the third track, “At the End of the Day,” Wallows reach a high point with a dark, electronic beat that brightens the track as it creates a plea that even a relationship that’s going well is doomed to fail. This song accomplishes this while featuring Dylan Minnette’s fine vocal work with lyrics like, “At first you
make me nervous I could hardly speak / I don’t really think about it anymore / Is that a problem or just something to ignore?”

Transitioning from “At the End of the Day” into “Marvelous” is about as unharmonious as the flow of the album gets. The latter track, while having strong aspects from the production side, is a weak point in the
album. Weaving in the sounds of a chattering crowd and screeching guitars to try to create a lively crowd makes this the LP’s weakest song. The high repetition is also a major flaw in the song. The chorus takes up over half of the song’s two and a half minutes listening time. This makes “Marvelous” cross the
line from catchy to tiresome.

This is the only thing I found unenjoyable within the album, and the other songs prove Wallows don’t lack any ability to create memorable pop songs. This is seen consecutively throughout their career, but is seen greatly on the song “Hurts Me.” The song is reminiscent and displays a retro, 1970s nature. On the lyrical side, the song features expected angst from the musical trio: “Did I give it enough / What to blame it on now? I know myself better than you do / Part of me is something that you’ll never see.” This ballad reconciles their feelings about a rough breakup, contemplating the role they play in the split.

Throughout the LP, Wallows show ease in expanding their musical expertise in multiple genres, while still remaining the topic of discussion. As such a young group, they are accomplishing what every artist should aim for on their second album. Both of their LPs, “Tell Me That It’s Over” and “Nothing Happens,” cement Wallows place as one of the biggest names in the indie scene today.

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