Wallows – Remote (Deluxe)

9 March 2021 / by Allison Baldwin
Album cover for the Wallows EP, REMOTE (Deluxe)
Album reviews
Wallows Remote
Released: February 19, 2021
Label: Atlantic Records
Alternative / Alternative Pop
The Strokes
Virtual Aerobics, Dig What You Dug, Nobody Gets Me (Like You), Coastlines, Talk Like That, OK

The indie LA trio, Wallows, including the beloved Dylan Minette, Braeden Lemasters and Cole Preston did not let the year 2020 get their spirits down. The three have emerged back into the scene shortly after the release of their acclaimed debut album, Nothing Happens in March of 2019. Their debut album highlights the viral track, ‘Are You Bored Yet?’ featuring bedroom-pop star Clairo, which received huge success especially on the social media platform TikTok. The alt-rock band shows no signs of slowing down as they’re tackling larger challenges and further exploring the extent of their music on their new release Remote

The album’s rawness can be attributed to Remote being entirely written, recorded and produced remotely (as the title suggests). They crafted it primarily through Facetime sessions and shared voice memos sent to one another from their various quarantine locations. This pleasantly creates a homemade feeling – while also being very sharp in execution, as per usual. The unpolished moments along with the little quirks all add to the joyful and youthful mood of the album, allowing for a much-needed escape from reality.

Fans of Wallows have come to love their well-known ‘80s-influenced, bedroom-pop sound and yet, Remote takes a turn for the better, diverting from their developed style. This vast contrast from Nothing Happens opens up a new world for the trio when emphasizing tracks that overflow with energy and good vibes.

The album begins with ‘Virtual Aerobics,’ which alludes to the newly adapted lifestyle encountered because of the COVID-19 lockdown. It takes on a fun, pop feel that is accompanied by upbeat bass guitars and nostalgic synths, creating an all-around catchy song. ‘Virtual Aerobics’ continues into the second song, ‘Dig What You Dug’ and matches that energy with variety in the band’s usage of quick-changing beats and instruments. But, the groups’ new stylistic choices really come into play with the jaunty, ‘Nobody Gets Me (Like You).” It incorporates a different and upbeat take on the cheesy “only you understand me” cliché. The track consists of rather loud and electronic chord progressions that set the overall pop-heavy tone of the album. In addition, the boys also include a personal favourite, the single titled ‘OK.’ It exceeds all expectations and contains strong vocals and musical elements combined with relatable lyrics. 

As a whole, Remote is very entertaining and experimental for the band. From the use of quirky sound effects to amusing ad-libs, the album to the core is a joyous listening experience. The playful mood carries throughout the album and is filled with memorable tracks with catchy choruses. Despite them trying out a new style that would surprise avid Wallows fans, Remote is a breakthrough, showcasing their authenticity as well as their potential to make a lasting impression on the indie music scene.