Premiere: Wallpaper Find Heart In Apathy On New Single, “Walkin'”
Passion and euphoria aren’t always the opposites of apathy and malaise. Sometimes, they are the antidotes, the unexpected remedies that pull us from the depths of indifference and discontent. Sure, the world cruelly teaches us to build up resistance to these antidotes over time, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t uncover a hidden wellspring of emotion amidst the sentimental numbness. This awareness is where we find Wallpaper on their latest single, “Walkin’,” a song that takes the ironic detachment of slouching rock music and uncovers its emotional core, revealing its beauty and depth for all to see. Out everywhere on Saturday, September 9th through Asset Two Records, it’s a provoking song that could stir even the listless of hearts. Today, The Auricular is excited to premiere this song with an exclusive stream below as well as observations of the song’s crafty dynamics.
Starting with a nodding bass line and an utterance that sounds halfway between a pause and a burp, you can feel the indifference from the band at the onset, which isn’t surprising given Wallpaper stylizes themselves as an “overwhelmingly loud emo-adjacent slacker rock band.” Despite this, the band can cut through the malaise and apathy of their mission statement to deliver a heartfelt ode to a budding relationship, one which begins to animate their languid demeanor. “I think everything’s slowly fallin’ in place\ I sank into the street lights\ Shining thru your window\ Everything can fall at wherever it lands,” frontman Andrew Milhorn sings in the opening verse over a jaunty garage strum, wrestling with this feeling of exhilaration that comes after a period of emotional detachment.
Once the chorus kicks in, any feeling of ironic nuance is washed away by passionate aspiration. “I don’t wanna fall for anybody else,” Milhorn croons on repeat as the band builds up steam behind a pulsating rhythm section led by drummer Hannah Johnson. It doesn’t take long for this sentiment to get absorbed into a cloud of electric distortion as if the affection is being juggled between listels haze and apprehensive joy. Before long, the hopeful yearning takes control again in the sprightly second verse as the desire intensifies. “I could make you breakfast\ Hold my hand forever,” Milhorn pledges before taking a crack at less-savvy love songs, portraying earnest expressions broadcasted beneath a veneer of droll composure. As the wistful chorus churns over once more, the vocals bring reinforcements this time that help it endure the melodic haze slightly longer, solidifying the song as a truthful assurance rather than a flippant jest.
“Walkin'” is the first single since the band released Spokes in November 2022, a potent seven-track EP that shifts boldly between lo-fi emo and gritty grunge. Balancing detachment and excitement was a key component of that record as well, yet “Walkin'” finds a way to make the listener empathize with its emotional contention more strongly. Even as the lyrics become starry-eyed, the song keeps a grip on its melancholic tone which contrasts sharply with the simmering affection, creating a sense of anxious hope within the song, anticipation that is worth the trial and tribulation instead of quickly abandoning it for distraction and disregard.
A slacker ballad true and true, Wallpaper lands on a coercive blend of insouciance and adoration with each strengthening the other, cushioning a potential loss down the line with droll realism while also infusing the desire with sardonic wit. It’s an ingenious composition all around and one that shows Wallpaper’s brand of musical mordancy is one to keep an ear out for in the future.
“Walkin'” will be released on Saturday, September 9th through Asset Two Records. You can follow Wallpaper on Spotify and Bandcamp in order to get notified as soon as the song becomes available, and make sure to follow them on Instagram as well so you can keep up-to-date on future releases and shows.