Tuesday Songs: “Little League” by Wallice | by Sandy Battulga | March 2022
All 20-somethings need to add Wallice’s new single to their playlists immediately.
Are you going through a quarter-life crisis? Do you feel like everyone lives together except you? Do you need songs to go along with the mini-crises you have in the shower? Then Wallice is the artist for you – just like his latest single, ‘Little League’.
Wallice, whose full name is Wallice Hana Watanabe, is a 23-year-old singer-songwriter from Los Angeles who quickly rose to popularity during quarantine with the release of her song “Punching Bag” in October 2020. What what makes her music so relatable and easy to love is how she speaks to the growing pains of aging, highlighting the inner turmoil and unique experiences that come with that awkward middle stage between “teen” and “adult.”
Her latest single “Little League”, released on February 15, is no different. In the song, Wallice feels unable to rectify the negative traits that have persisted in her since childhood. In the pre-chorus, she sings, “I get reckless, I get mean / Been like this since little league / Follow the rules so tightly it hurts / Try to change, but nothing works.” Wallice reflects on how she guiltily gives in to her overly competitive nature, even though she knows it will sabotage her relationships. The result is an inevitable feeling of guilt, which she expresses in the chorus, whose catchy tempo collides with the bitterness of the lyrics: “So I cry myself to sleep, I think everyone hates me/I throw all my flaws, I’m such a fucking baby/Over and over/I think I’m losing all my friends.
The “Little League” music video features Wallice in three different scenes: a little league game, a board game, and a tennis match. Each storyline features an overly competitive Wallice who becomes disproportionately determined and aggressive throughout the video as the song increases in intensity. The other people Wallice plays with end up leaving, discouraged by his poor sportsmanship. She is ultimately left alone, having achieved her desire to win but at the cost of her friendships.
The quality of the video itself is blurry, like it was shot with a camera that has a film of Vaseline on the lens. The result is a dreamy, pastel-colored vibe reminiscent of the past and childhood memories, as well as the aesthetic of the 1970s. His voice is also fuzzy, soft and indefinite with a slight graininess. Combined with the steady bass and synth moans in the background, a buzz seems to emanate from the song that contributes to the overall half-awake, half-asleep nature of the music video.
Similar to fellow indie-pop artist Ginger Root, Wallice draws inspiration from the sounds and visuals of decades past, but subverts them to create a unique sound, uniting vintage and modern. With his songs and their accompanying music videos, Wallice creates aural and visual narratives that make the listener yearn for a bygone realm, that of his own adolescence and the past of someone other than him. never known but to which he feels deeply connected.
Wallice has made a name for himself in the indie-pop arena, having garnered 12.1 million streams, 2.7 million listeners and 508,200 hours of streaming time in 174 countries. She has also been featured in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Nylon Magazine and Notion. Wallice has caught the eye of other well-established artists, namely Sven Eric Gamsky (or more commonly known as Still Woozy), whom she is currently opening for on tour. The ambient, rippling color of Still Woozy’s discography perfectly accompanies Wallice’s dreamy tone, creating a marriage of sound that oozes good vibes and out-of-body experiences.
You can stream Wallice and “Little League” on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and everywhere else. Tour dates for Still Woozy and Wallice can be found here (if you can find tickets available, they’re selling like hot cakes).