Tell Me That It’s Over

Tell Me That It’s Over

Since releasing their debut studio album Nothing Happens in 2019, Wallows have emerged as one of the most exciting American indie rock bands of the decade. On their second LP, guitarist/vocalist Dylan Minnette (known for his work as an actor on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why), lead guitarist/vocalist Braeden Lemasters (also an actor, as seen on Men of a Certain Age), and drummer Cole Preston have pushed their sonic palette to new limits, with the help of all-star producer Ariel Rechtshaid (Vampire Weekend, HAIM, Adele). “It’s an eclectic batch of songs, that is for sure,” Minnette says. “We almost pictured it to be a little lusher, or R&B-leaning, originally, but we ended up liking Ariel's idea of highlighting the band side of us.” Unlike their first album, which centered around the concept of what Minnette calls “transitioning out of youth into adulthood,” this one is about, he says, “life-changing decisions,” focusing on both beginning and nurturing a relationship and ending and exiting one, and the title reflects that. “‘Tell me that it’s over’—there’s one meaning, like, ‘This could be easier on us if you were to just end this and then all these feelings that go away,’” Minnette explains. “Or it’s the last line [on the album]: ‘I look forward to a little me and you/So now I hope that you don’t tell me that it’s over.’” Below, the band walks Apple Music through their new album, track by track. “Hard to Believe” Dylan Minnette: “‘Hard to Believe’ was not always how we pictured this album starting. Once Ariel decided that he could picture it going in a Pinkerton-era Weezer and my bloody valentine direction, it sparked an idea of having these string stabs opening the song, [and it sounded] really interesting. By the end of the album process, we realized it was the most exciting and unpredictable way to open the next Wallows album.” “I Don’t Want to Talk” Minnette: “We fast-tracked finishing this song last year before we were done with the album, because we didn't want to go too long without putting any music out. It felt like the right song to be the first song back, because its identity is very much a classic Wallows song. It is about insecurity—when you're so invested in someone, and if you're in a position where you have to be away from someone that you are pretty freshly in a relationship with, you start to get all these fears of them turning their head. The first three songs are very much rooted in the beginning of a relationship and the insecurity it can bring out of you.” “Especially You” Cole Preston: “I don't exactly know what inspired the swampy instruments. I think the specific references are Midnite Vultures, that Beck record, and weird Beatles-y moments. There’s this legendary banjo/steel guitar multi-instrumentalist named Greg Leisz who plays on a bunch of Ariel's records. Ariel had the idea to have him come and play the banjo. We were like, ‘What the hell?!’” “At the End of the Day” Braeden Lemasters: “The song started with Cole and I at a session. The night before, I was listening to Harvest Moon by Neil Young. It was probably 11:00 at night; we had some wine, and I was just playing some music. I went back and listened to three or four little ideas in my voice memos in the other room, and I heard the guitar part that starts with the synth in the song, and I walked back in. I was like, ‘Why don't we try this idea?’ I just envisioned myself singing like Neil Young in the first verse. I like how the song constantly changes. It had kind of The Cure vibe when we started with Ariel. It went from Harvest Moon to The Cure, a really low-acoustic sludge. Then it went to '80s synth-pop, like a Tears for Fears, New Order kind of vibe, which I love. It has all those identities in it.” “Marvelous” Minnette: “It's the newest song on this album. We started demoing a super midtempo version of this. The melody is so frantic in the song now because Cole sped up the demo and pitched it up I don't know how many times. The demo just sounded insane. I had a baby voice, and it was a really different-sounding song. But Ariel sort of pitched it going in a funky direction. He wanted the song to feel like [Deee-Lite's] ‘Groove Is in the Heart.’ It ended up being really quirky and funky, and we were just having fun with it, really.” “Permanent Price” Preston: “I was scrolling my voice memos and stopped at a random one that was not marked. It happened to be the synth intro to the song. It’s actually us playing guitar, but it sounds like a synth. I brought that to the guys like, 'Why don't we make this a song?' Our original idea was a Brian Eno kind of vibe. We started recording the song, and Ariel, his idea was to take it in more of a ‘Sometimes’ by James direction, which happened to be produced by Brian Eno. We started doing that, and then Dylan wrote these optimistic lyrics that were really cool.” “Missing Out” Preston: “This song has a special place, because we were on tour opening for Vampire Weekend in 2019 [in Europe]. We were driving along, and [our bass player] Blake [Morell] was playing songs in the van, and he played ‘When It's Over’ by Sugar Ray. I hadn’t listened to it since I was a kid, and I just remember being so inspired. When we were flying back to the US, we had a session the next day with John DeBold; we were tired, but I was so inspired in the moment.” “Hurts Me” Preston: “The lyrics were very honest about going through a breakup, the months after that, and wondering if you should even consider talking to that person again or if that's actually not good for you. You're not sure what's going on. 'What's best for me at this moment?' The song is about trying to avoid things that are going to hurt, even if they're beneficial in the moment.” “That’s What I Get” Minnette: “Braeden and I had a session at Ariel’s house, but we didn’t meet him or see him or anything. Cut to two years later, we are in his house and actually working on the album with him on this song. It started out as this early-2000s pop-alternative like Aly & AJ or something. And then it became this hype, big, full-band energy. Ariel started talking about Kate Bush, so we started with this cool, reverb-y programmed drum thing, and it became orchestral.” “Guitar Romantic Search Adventure” Minnette: “It’s interesting to conclude here, because the song is about the beginnings of speaking with someone—simple things like texting someone that you are interested in or falling in love with. It’s a nice optimistic note to end on. Originally, the demo was incredibly lush. There were never any drums. It became very synthy and dreamy. All the feelings that you've gone through in this album, you ultimately land on 'I can see a future for us in a family and I hope that this never ends.'”

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