Best friends since the age of 11, the members of Wallows have spent most of their lives obsessing over music together, steadily gathering a musical vocabulary that’s expansive and erratic and wildly eclectic. On their full-length debut Nothing Happens, the L.A.-based trio puts that vocabulary to work and draws from infinite inspirations: scores to Spike Jonze movies, the Beatles’ most rhapsodic digressions, bedroom pop and lo-fi hip-hop and ’70s post-punk. The result is an album that’s endlessly unpredictable, yet somehow as familiar and deeply felt as the world inside your head.
Like their 2018 debut EP Spring, Nothing Happens finds Wallows dreaming up a restlessly inventive breed of alt-rock with the help of Grammy Award-winning producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Future Islands, Angel Olsen). Recorded at Sargent Studios in L.A., the album sprang from a mad-scientist-like approach to song construction, with the band refusing to fall back on formula. “Whenever we came to a crossroads as far as where we could take a song, we always went the weird way,” says Preston. “There are more risks on this than anything else we’ve done,” adds Minnette. “It came from a place of never wanting to repeat ourselves, and making sure everything feels different from what came before.”