Wallows – Remote


Photo credit: Gracen Hoyle

illustration by Gracen Hoyle

For the record, I’ve been waiting for the next Wallows project since their first LP dropped in March of 2019. In this crazy year of 2020 where live music has been non-existent and there is pressure for artists to release music in order to tide fans over, it’s easy to be impatient for albums and EPs. The Los Angeles alternative rock band has teased fans with a handful of singles this year, but “Remote” is their first comprehensive project since their debut album, “Nothing Happens,” from last year. The trio of Braeden Lemasters, Cole Preston and Dylan Minnette are branded by their unique alt-rock sound, but they haven’t always been branded as Wallows. The group first started making music as kids in a music program and over the last decade have gone by the names “Join The Band,” “The Feaver” and “The Narwhals.” Finally, after deciding to pursue a more professional identity, they decided on “Wallows” and released their first song in 2017 under the new moniker. Since then, they’ve become a successful alt-rock band with nearly 9 million monthly listeners on Spotify, a number of charted singles and an RIAA platinum certification on their song “Are You Bored Yet?”. “Remote” arrives as Wallows’s third EP in their discography and boasts new sounds and confidence from their quarantine collaboration.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of “Remote” the first time I listened all the way through. The six-song tracklist has a variety of moods and themes and features genre influences of grunge, indie-pop and garage rock. It’s by no means rewriting the alt/indie history books but certainly features the band’s lyrical skills and willingness to continue developing their sound. After getting a feel for what the project was all about, I can say I really enjoy it. The EP kicks off with “Virtual Aerobics,” a track that is defined by a groovy guitar melody 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.” Tracks 2 and 3, “Dig What You Dug” and “Nobody Gets Me (Like You),” feature modulated vocals and electric guitars for a more traditional rock sound blended with catchy hooks for a unique but colorful groove. Track 4, “Coastlines,” switches things up for a much poppier vibe with fun synths and a quicker beat. Every song on the EP seems to work independently yet fit together very well for a complete project.

It’s clear that “Remote” is all about trying new things for Wallows. While the lyrical content more or less remains centered around being in love, the way that each song and theme is delivered musically makes for a very fun listen. Sitting at just 16 minutes, it’s a perfect tracklist for a car ride or short activity. “Remote” is a promising look at the band’s progress, and I’m looking forward to where they go with their sound for the next full-length album.