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Released: 2019

“Scrawny” by Wallows is a roller coaster of self-deprecating humor and introspection, embodying a charmingly awkward character’s struggle with self-image and societal expectations. The protagonist presents a moving duality of being both self-critical and defiantly embracing their perceived shortcomings.

The opening lyrics “Used to be level with all my friends / Still wear the same shoes I did back then” establishes an immediate sense of stagnation and discontent with their personal growth. Their reluctance to change, shown in “I’d switch it up but I don’t like change / Only content if things stay the same” indicates a fear of stepping outside their comfort zone, further hindered by their need for control over situations.

Lines “I’ve been sleeping with the light on / I tend to freak myself out” poetically alludes to anxiety, often characterized by the need to keep lights on due to the irrational fear of lurking dangers in the dark. The hook, “Scrawny motherfucker with a cool hairstyle” is both an admission of perceived physical inadequacy and a nod to the undeniable charm their unique appearance brings. It’s almost as if the singer is finding solace and individuality through their unique hairstyle, regardless of their perceived scrawniness.

In the section beginning with “I say the wrong shit at the right times,” the protagonist candidly articulates their propensity to upset people with their poorly-timed remarks, but also expresses their indifference towards others’ opinions. The phrase “Maybe they all should listen to me” hints at the protagonist’s self-assuredness and belief in what they bring to the table, atypical looks and all.

The song wraps up with the upbeat acceptance, “I’ll be one of those people you remember / They’ll be looking at us when we’re together / I’ll be a mannequin you can dismember / You don’t like my clothes but you still like my smile.” The character acknowledges their unconventional appeal and the lasting impact they’ve managed to make, even when others might see them as unusual or different.

“Scrawny” by Wallows is, in essence, a brilliant concoction of angst, defiance, and accepting one’s self outright. It encapsulates the struggle of a flawed character attempting to fit into societal norms while also learning to love and embrace their own quirks and peculiarities.

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