‘Pleaser’ is high school in a song.
It has the fizzy optimism of aspiration, the underlying angst waiting to be uncaged, the chanting heart of melodic unity, and frenzy of freedom.
It definitely isn’t surprising that the song belongs to Wallows; a band formed of 13 Reasons Why star, Dylan Minnette – yep, Clay – Braeden Lemasters and Cole Presston. We knew he was the type of kid to secretly channel his emotion into a guitar.
A song made by self-confessed people pleasers in a desperate bid to please her, awkward and kooky lyricism of anxieties and sleep deprivation are sang in wistful hope. They fumble in the dark, then crash against the walls of their containing wild harmonies.
The story unfolds; a quiet boy pining over a mysterious girl, racing between soft drawl and uncontrollable excitement.
It has that grab and energy; the teenage day-dream that conjures images of star gazing from suburban rooftops and road trips with bare feet resting on the rider.
Garage guitars thunder in the background, desperate to explode but reined in by the sunshine temperament and glittered bass. Finding its rebel, you hear this guy pluck up his courage alongside frenetic riffs. You root for it.
‘Pleaser’ truly lives up to its namesake. It’s a bittersweet rush, and it’s a hard one to break away from.
Words by Tanyel Gumushan