Photos: Alex Jade Gross
It would be an understatement to say Wallows’ debut album has been a long time coming. While the indie rock trio released their first single “Pleaser” in 2017, Wallows has been operating as a band for a little over a decade. From playing together in a San Fernando Valley music program at the age of eleven to releasing their major label debut via Atlantic ten years later, the Los Angeles–based trio’s debut album is a testament to growing up together, sonically and emotionally.
Nothing Happens, Wallows’ long-awaited debut album, is an eleven-track exploration of the anxieties and fears that accompany transitioning into young adulthood. This shared transitional period for Braeden Lemasters, Dylan Minnette, and Cole Preston, who make up Wallows, is told through bouts of hazy indie rock that evoke comparisons to the likes of The Strokes, Arcade Fire, and Vampire Weekend all in the same breath. And while previously released singles, such as the Clairo-assisted “Are You Bored Yet” and “Sidelines,” mark notable highs on Nothing Happens, this is an album where the highs come in spades.
Tracks like “Treacherous Doctor” and “Remember When” illustrate Wallows’ impressive talent for balancing emotionally-driven lyricism with infectious and dynamic instrumentation. Like many of the tracks found on Nothing Happens, the aforementioned two are both far too easy to lose yourself in the storm Wallows whisks into existence but taking a moment to piece together the sentimentality in lines like “Thought I saw your shadow under the door/ Just a trick of the light I’ve seen before/ I can never tell what’s real anymore” and “Is this the way I exit my youth” hint at the true genius of this trio. Wallows spoke on their long-awaited debut album, sharing,
“It feels great to finally be releasing our debut record. We’ve been playing together for the past 10 years, so it’s been a long time coming. ‘Nothing Happens’ reflects on our experiences growing up together, our loss of innocence and the thoughts and fears that come with transitioning into adulthood.”
It may have taken Wallows a decade to release their debut album, but it is safe to say it was well worth the wait.
Listen to Nothing Happens below: