Wallows'  'Tell Me That It's Over' Chronicles  Words Said and Left Unsaid

Photo: Anthony Pham

Three years after the release of Wallows' lauded debut album Nothing Happens, the indie pop-rock trio has returned with their latest offering, Tell Me That It’s Over. The sunny yet angsty sophomore effort sees the band dive further into the self-exploration they began on their debut album, showcasing their unmistakable talent for crafting a dynamic and gripping sound amid their journey to overcome their anxieties and self-doubts.

The album’s opener, “Hard To Believe,” is a track full of blissful summer tones and seemingly carefree sonics juxtaposed by lyrical despondency, grieving for words left unsaid. The track’s fuzzy guitars, clean vocals, and stomp-along beat feel nostalgic and catchy enough to serve as the soundtrack for a heartwarming coming-of-age film. The following track, “I Don’t Wanna Talk,” adds constant sonic variance from verse to verse with its arpeggiated synths, reversed drum noises, and whimsical harmonica lines. It’s a bouncy and bright song that holds clear influences from artists like Vampire Weekend and Mac DeMarco.  

“At The End Of The Day” is teeming with nostalgia, nodding to '90s Britpop with bright blaring synth notes, tingling strings, and a catchy pop-infused melody that creeps in with a somber, darkwave-esque electronic beat. Dylan Minnette’s vocals exude a delicate tone on lyrics like, “At first you made me nervous, I could hardly speak / I don’t really think about it anymore / Is that a problem or just something to ignore?” The song explores a relationship doomed to end and encapsulates the album’s themes of dealing with love and loss. The lyrical content provides listeners with familiar feelings of hoping for the future while lamenting the past, a theme that’s exceptionally poignant given the past few years.

“Missing Out” is an emotional and anthemic tour de force with heavy rock guitar riffs that weave in and out of lyrics about letting go. It evokes a wellspring of emotion through an ethereal build-up in the post-chorus, acting as an example of a successful marriage between classic and modern styles. The band continues to shine on tracks like “Marvelous,” immersing listeners into a fleeting thought of longing against the backdrop of a bustling crowd full of fast-paced melodies and trumpeters.

“Hurts Me” proves that the band can still make euphoric and memorable dance-inducing pop music on an album that dares to branch out. The track gives off early The 1975 energy in its vocal melody and sun-soaked synths while the band reconciles their feelings about a relationship reaching its bitter end. Lyrically, the song still has pitch-perfect angst, especially on lines like, “Did I give it enough? / What to blame it on now? I know myself better than you do / Part of me is something that you’ll never see.”

The album’s closer, “Guitar Romantic Search Adventure,” is a delicate yet powerful ballad full of nostalgia and regret. Braeden Lemasters’ piano-playing shines in the minimalistic production before the song explodes into a moment of cinematic instrumentation and synths. Throughout Tell Me That It’s Over, Wallows display an impressive ease in incorporating unexpected sonic textures and genre-spanning influences while remaining true to their signature sound, accomplishing what every band hopes to achieve on their sophomore album.

Listen to Tell Me That It's Over below:

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