Arguably one of lockdown’s more significant projects, the six casual poppy tunes which constitute Remote provide the enthusiastic follow-up to Wallows’ acclaimed indie debut, Nothing Happens, which has been widely anticipated since early 2019. Recorded entirely throughout lockdown, the spirited EP is marketed as a sort of in-between compilation of creative ideas preceding their sophomore record.
Wallows kick off the project with the short but uplifting ‘Virtual Aerobics’, combining staccato, poppy piano notes with upbeat instrumentation, against Minnette’s familiar vocals: “Hey there, safe travels / Read it, I unravel”. The rap-esque segment midway welcomes the trio’s lighthearted side, and sets precedent for the album’s peppy tone. This energy is cemented by the hypnotising fuzz of the synth soundscape against polished vocals in their first single, ‘Nobody Gets Me (Like You)’, which immortalises the youthful simplicity of love, in accordance with the similarly upbeat ‘Dig What You Dug’ and ‘Talk Like That’. September saw the accompanying release of the comedic and retro-inspired music video, for which they enlisted the help of trusted friends and human cut-outs, in support of social distancing measures.
Their energy partially falls short with the fourth track: ‘Coastlines’, in which the tempo noticeably drops to allow for the comparatively melancholic tone typified by the repeated line: I don’t wanna think about it. ‘Wish Me Luck’, the sixth and final song, mimics this full but laid-back style, reaffirming “Alright, I’ll be fine / If we just turn out the lights“. The duo of mellower songs provide a welcome contrast to the LP’s chaotic rhythms, whilst retaining the band’s transition from indie to alt-pop territory, as premiered by their 2020 single, ‘OK’. This change in direction may thus allude to the direction of their second studio album.
Header image: Wallows. Credit: Nikoli Partiyeli via NME.