It’s only been four months since Wallows dropped their debut single, but the fact that every show they’ve played has been sold-out might make you think otherwise.
Few bands can boast having garnered such a strong fanbase after only releasing two singles, but Wallows is one of the select few. The LA-based alternative band have been releasing music since April of this year, and have only released two singles as of August.
For a new band, I wondered how they could sound so cohesive in their first few releases. It turns out the members of Wallows, Dylan Minnette, Cole Preston, and Braeden Lemasters, have been in multiple bands together before, including The Narwhals and The Feaver. Those groups never took off, but Wallows has seen unprecedented success in their first few months. How does a group that has only been around for a few months manage to sell out The Troubadour, a venue that most artists dream of being able to play and fill during their career?
Part of their recognition can be accredited to their lead singer and guitarist, Minnette, who played Clay in Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix. Shortly after the series aired, Wallows announced their first single “Pleaser,” which now has over 2 million plays on Spotify. The band then began playing shows, all of which quickly sold out, at venues in California including The Roxy, The Constellation Room, The Troubadour, and Slim’s.
However, to attribute all of the band’s success to Minnette and his fame from the show discredits the incredible talent of each musician in Wallows. The two songs that they have released so far are catchy, well-crafted, and lyrically polished.
While listening to their second single, “Sun Tan,” my mind drifts from driving down PCH with the windows down, to watching a sunset slowly fall below the horizon, to sitting in a jazz bar when the trumpet kicks in during the bridge. The witty change of asking “why does the sun set baby?” when the protagonist is first trying to get his tan, to questioning “why does the sun shine baby?” after he gets burned, tells a story in itself through just a few lyric changes. The range of scenes and emotions that Wallows can elicit within a short, three-minute time frame is truly rare to find.
Watching the lyric video for “Pleaser” and the music video for “Sun Tan,” it is obvious that Wallows are genuine, humble, and just want to have fun with their music. Even if the concept of a man walking around town in a giant baby mask does not precisely match the song behind it for a music video, it’s quite entertaining to watch.
Given the amount of success Wallows has seen in such a short time, they will likely continue to thrive and grow as they put out more music. For now, if you need to find me, I’ll be in Malibu blasting “Sun Tan” while I watch the waves crash onto the shore.
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