The year 2020 has cancelled concerts and music events amidst the era of COVID. However, because of this sudden pause in the social aspect of the music industry, artists have taken advantage of the situation and used this given free time to create music for their fans in quarantine.
Indie/pop band Wallows are one of the many artists releasing music during a time of social distancing. After coming out with various singles such as “OK” and “With a Little Help from My Friends”, the band recently just came out with their newest EP titled "Remote".
Released Friday, October 23, "Remote" is the band’s first EP recorded remotely. This remote recording became the inspiration for the record as well as its title.
Wallows says in a statement about the recording of album, “‘Remote’ is a special project for us. We finished it all without seeing each other in person by sending each other voice memos and spending hours chatting on FaceTime. Though the lyrics don’t reflect on or reference our time staying at home, the music wouldn’t have turned out the way it did if not for quarantine.”
The EP opens with the song “Virtual Aerobics”, an uptempo track that builds a melodic and poppy rock tune over a simple piano riff.
Band member Dylan Minnette tells PEOPLE magazine in an interview about the album that the song lyrics and title were inspired by his girlfriend Lydia Night, lead singer of The Regrettes.
Minnette says, "I'm quarantined with my girlfriend and she was doing virtual aerobics classes every day in the beginning, and I did some of that. I thought it was a good title, so I just called this thing 'Virtual Aerobics' and then saw where my mind takes me lyrically."
"And now I'm really happy with how the lyrics turned out," he adds. "That song is essentially about the beginnings of speaking to someone you like virtually and if you're talking to each other over text or whatever, it can sort of feel like you're dancing around the words a little bit. Like are you really flirting or what is this?"
Next up on the record is “Dig What You Dug”, a rock and pop infused track with a nice groove to it.
Members Cole Preston and Braeden Lemasters share in an interview the creation and meaning of the song, beginning by stating that the track began as a fusion of two ideas.
"There was one idea called 'You Want All the Friends You Got' that me and Braeden had started a long time ago, and then another random rock guitar thing and we just merged those two things together," says Preston.
Lemasters then adds, “The track's about not trying to appease your friends or others and just be yourself.”
The ending of the song then smoothly transitions into the next track, “Nobody Gets Me (Like You)”. The song, with heavy influences of 2000s pop-rock featured throughout, was originally going to be used for another project of the band’s until they reached a final decision of it being added to "Remote".
Braeden Lemasters talks of the track in an interview with MTV.
“'Nobody Gets Me (Like You)' was basically done in a day. We were at a studio, Cole and I, with our friend Sachi and John. We were just kind of jamming on stuff and one of the first ideas that I sort of played was this little guitar part. Then John chopped it up and made it this kind of percussion sounding thing,” says Lemasters.
Lemasters adds, “The song is about my girlfriend Jenessa, I was thinking about her because it’s just one of those songs. Sometimes you just gotta write a song about that. In the context, ‘Nobody Gets Me Like You’ is such a simple title but I also just feel like it is really special when you feel like you find someone who you connect with in a way that’s way deeper than just surface level stuff.”
Next on the EP is “Coastlines”, a track that took over two years to make due to Wallows waiting “for the right time” for its release. Originally, the band wanted the track to be featured on their next album.
The song, upon first listening, seems to be about a long-distance relationship and the struggles faced going through such a relationship. However, Dylan Minnette addresses a similar but also different meaning of the song in an interview.
Minnette says, “It was originally about wanting time off and wanting time with someone you love at home. What's funny is we completed it at a time when I was totally at home."
Second-to-last on the EP is “Talk Like That”, a beachy, head bopping track with a sing-along chorus.
Wallows has openly admitted that this has become one of their favorite songs they have worked on. They also say how the song is something unlike anything they have ever produced.
Cole Preston shares in an interview, “It's something totally new for us and I can't quite compare it to another Wallows song, even though it exists in the same universe as these upbeat guitar Wallows songs.”
Finishing off the record is the song “Wish Me Luck”.
This is the only song on the EP with a slower tempo. However, while the tune is a bit slower than the rest of the songs on "Remote", it still holds the same groove and vibe.
This track is also probably one of Wallows’ most vulnerable as far as lyrics go.
Braeden Lemasters shares in an interview that the title of the song was based on Leonard Cohen’s "Book of Longing".
“When we were thinking of a title, I just opened up a Leonard Cohen book and the first words I saw were, 'Wish me luck,' and I said, 'Why don't we make that the title?'" says Lemasters.
Out of everything that Wallows has released during their time in the music industry, I personally believe that "Remote" EP is one of the best records they have produced.
You can tell how much work and effort they put into this EP. And, with us being in an era where most people now have much time on their hands with quarantine and all, they have been able to put time into the record to improve it in which they see fit.
If I were to rate "Remote" EP out of 5 stars, I would give it 5/5 stars in all.