Wallows broke onto the scene with their 2017 single ‘Pleaser,’ displaying an upbeat indie sound with major 80s influences and have since released various singles, as well as the Spring EP in 2018 as well. With a growing fanbase, there was great anticipation for their debut full-length album Nothing Happens, and it is definitely worth the wait.
Wallows crafts a record that captures the universal feeling of teenage angst and growing up. All three were childhood friends, and one can almost feel the adolescent innocence in their sound, as if they were throwing together music in their garage. The tracks flow seamlessly and it’s clear the band is creating a cohesive album, rather than a collection of singles. The album’s lead single ‘Are You Bored Yet’ features Clairo, and heavy doses of synth, a recurring sound in this album. The song talks about the start of a new relationship, shown through Minnette and Clairo, and questioning whether there’s actually something there. While previous singles and the Spring EP also utilized synths, the use of them here feels more subtle and more effective. This track transitions to the guitar-heavy and boisterous ‘Scrawny’; an anthem for self-confidence and much more similar to what Wallows released previously, with upbeat drums and Minnette’s confident delivery. Tracks like ‘Ice Cold Pool’ and ‘Worlds Apart’ show Wallows experimenting with other styles, drawing inspiration from bands like Two Door Cinema Club and Tame Impala. The record ends with the triumphant ‘Do Not Wait’, a vibrant song about vulnerability and overcoming adversity. It’s one of the album’s more lyrically mature songs and is a nice finale to close off the album. In the closing track, Minnette sings “it gets worse before it gets better,” but Wallows’ debut studio album is already showing why they’re one of the bands to watch in the future.
Image: Jimmy Fontaine via Wikimedia Commons