So, lockdown huh? That was something. Animal Crossing was fun for a week or so, and once you’d rinsed Tiger King then what then? Most of us just stared blankly out of a window (if we had one), and did nothing more productive than getting out of bed five days out of seven. Not Wallows though. Instead, despite being isolated from each other as well as the wider world, they have still managed to produce one of the pop nuggets of the year.
The pace of ‘Remote’ is breathless, the six tracks here packing more ideas into sixteen minutes than some bands manage their whole career. From the psychedelic pop vibes that spirals out of ‘Nobody Gets Me (Like You)’, to the romantic yearning of ‘Coastlines’, this is a band that you just know will never want, or need, to settle down genre-wise. There are hints of pop-punk lurking at the edges, rubbing shoulders happily with the chilled ‘Wish Me Luck’ and frenetically twitchy ‘Talk Like That’.
It is beyond crazy to think that it was largely stitched together in isolation, even the vocals being recorded on iPhone notes and passed around the band. Despite all that, it feels almost effortless for Wallows at this point (though it plainly wasn’t). After dipping their toes into so many different worlds here, it’s exciting to think about where they can go next. The answer is probably, and tantalisingly, wherever the hell they like.