Fred Thomas – “Mallwalkers”

Fred Thomas’ new album, Changer, comes out in a few weeks, and so far we’ve heard “Brickwall,” “Echolocation,” and “Voiceover,” and talked to Thomas himself about the transformations driving the new album. Today, he’s shared “Mallwalkers,” Changer’s closing track, a song about feeling too slow for this fast-paced world: “You find a more consistent community with those early morning mallwalkers than these horrid hushed hall talkers, judge-gabled gawkers,” goes its central line. Listen via The A.V. Club and read what Thomas has to say about the track below.

This was a song I made a few different demos for with various different lyrical approaches before ending up with the final version that made it to Changer. I was trying to capture the kind of eternal crowded loneliness that I vaguely remembered from being in high school and working a horrifying minimum wage job all summer at the bulk foods store. This song isn’t taken directly from my experiences, but aims instead to recall how slowly the time passed, the narcotic feeling of walking out of an unnaturally cold air conditioned bubble into a burning swelter and how the nights of hanging out with friends who were figuring things out at different rates felt so sad and monotonous. Like a lot of the songs for this record, the gender of the protagonist is unclear, and with “Mallwalkers” it’s also vague as to if the song is addressing one melancholic subject, different people or a whole group of characters and their interactions. The song ends without resolution, which is kind of the point. Those stilted, eternally fucked high school summers don’t resolve or get better, they just shift into something else without ever being made total sense of.

Tour Dates:
02/07 Seattle, WA @ Victory Lounge *
02/08 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios *
02/09 San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern *
02/10 Oakland, CA @ 1234 Go! *
02/11 Los Angeles, CA @ The Hi Hat *
02/13 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar *
02/14 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress *^
02/16 Austin, TX @ Mohawk *
02/17 Houston, TX @ Walter’s *#
02/18 New Orleans, LA @ Circle Bar *

* w/ Tyvek
^ w/ the Coathangers
# w/ Rose Ette

Changer is out 1/27 via Polyvinyl. Pre-order it here.

Tags: Fred Thomas