by Lucy Cullen
This March, Wallows released their sophomore album Tell Me That It’s Over. Members Dylan Minnette, Cole Preston, and Braedan Lemasters released their debut album Nothing Happens in 2019, and their popularity has since grown exponentially. Spring of 2020, the lead single of their first album, Are You Bored Yet, garnered attention on TikTok, resulting in more streams of their entire discography.
In fall 2020, Wallows released Remote, an EP they created while in quarantine. While fans were excited to be hearing new music from the band, the EP was received with some criticism. It seemed as though Wallows had strayed away from the trademark alt/indie rock sound perfected in Nothing Happens, shifting into a more electropop style. Remote had an 80’s sound; the tracks were accompanied by heavy synths and sound effects, which came to fans from out of left field. It seemed as though Wallows was having a bit too much fun with the soundboard.
This is all to say that fans were a bit skeptical about the new album and how Wallows evolved their sound over this period. However, these expectations were more than exceeded. Debuting at #8 in the USA on Spotify, Tell Me That It’s Over received a warm welcome from listeners. The album serves as an evolution of the classic Wallows sound of alternative/indie rock to a combination of alternative rock and pop. This style has become increasingly popular recently, as seen in artists such as Rex Orange County, Clairo, and Dayglow. With this album, Wallows reinstated their alternative roots, indicating to fans that they were still the same band as before, while simultaneously creating a perfect balance with the pop sound attempted in Remote.
The album is a truly eclectic mix of 10 songs, following topics that range from love, relationships, and life in general. The lead single “I Don’t Want to Talk” has the perfect toe-tapping drum beat that fans cherish with a muffled-telephone like voice filter over Minnette’s leading vocals. The interludes between the verses and choruses are cacophonies of instruments that somehow all fit together perfectly and capture the signature Wallows sound. Put simply, it makes you want to get up and jump around. About half way through the album, a love song duet between Minnette and his girlfriend Lydia Night, frontwoman of The Regrettes, begins. “Permanent Price” is a song of security, trust, and support between two people in a relationship. It is the ability to be yourself in front of someone and the knowledge that you are truly happy when you are with that person: “I think you should stay/ ‘Cause I hope that we can feel this way we do now for all time/ I feel so content I could die, I might let it happen.”
“Guitar Romantic Search Adventure,” the album’s final track, is the perfect closer to leave you wanting more. The song is quite melancholy, with lyrics like “My life’s going by, but it’s really just begun,” creating a sense of yearning for the past but excitement for the future. A gradual instrumental build up leads to the last lyric of the entire album which says “don’t tell me that it’s over.” Despite the alteration of the album title, that lyric felt like the perfect conclusion for this album, completely encapsulating my feelings of not wanting the album to end.
In Tell Me That It’s Over, Wallows demonstrated their growth as a band, while still honoring the sound that the fans love. The band has just begun their world tour, and, as this is only their second album, I have reason to believe that they have also just begun their road to a long career of success.
Lucy Cullen is a freshman in the College and is undeclared.