Manchester’s Pale Waves are no strangers to criticism and controversy. Their scorching successes under Dirty Hit over the past twelve months or so, and their collaborations with the infamous The 1975 have caused a stir amongst both indie fans and critics.
Often described as “clones of The 1975”, the quartet, led by Heather Baron-Gracie have broken out of the ever building amount of upcoming bands the UK has to offer at breakneck speed. Sold out headline tours, a support slot at the infamous Madison Square Garden and ever building support from BBC Radio 1 and Radio X have proved Pale Waves a force to be reckoned with.
With controversy comes intrigue, and a chance to prove any doubts of Heather Baron-Gracie and Ciara Doran’s songwriting abilities wrong. Friday 14th September will see one of 2018’s most eagerly awaited albums drop on Dirty Hit, in the form of Pale Waves’ fourteen track debut, My Mind Makes Noises.
A title truly reflecting of Heather’s state of mind, My Mind Makes Noises plays more like a flawlessly compiled playlist than an album. Each of it’s fourteen tracks flow delightfully, offering an insight into the sheer ambition of a band deserving of their rapid rise.
From the very off, My Mind Makes Noises offers a raw and open view into the mind of both Heather and Ciara. Lyrics based around anxiety and love offer a darker, more vulnerable view of Pale Waves than their catchy pop exterior has previously shown. Opening track Eighteen hears Heather tell a nostalgic tale of the emotions of a first love, while new track Came In Close shares the fears of growing feelings for a friend.
There’s a much more mature side to Heather and Ciara’s songwriting on display throughout the previously unheard tracks, but fan favourite singles There’s A Honey and Television Romance still hold their own. The combination of electronic sounding synth and shimmering guitar melodies which Pale Waves do so well remain as loveable as ever, giving the darker and more vulnerable lyrics a pop energy which makes each and every track Pale Waves provide capable of sticking in your head for weeks.
Drive gives an insight of the struggles of mental heath, “Is it all in my head, what they said? I’m not feeling too good, I’m misunderstood” Heather asks herself, a relatable feeling for anyone who struggles with anxiety and depression. No doubt one of the highlights of the fourteen tracks, Drive is brutally honest and vulnerable, offering a warm, relatable side to the band.
Capturing the turbulence of love, One More Time is the most energetic of the album. Simple yet upbeat, it’s one of most euphoric of the fourteen tracks, perfectly suited to a place on the soundtrack to a romantic comedy.
Closing on Karl (I Wonder What It’s Like To Die), an acoustic message written to lost loved ones, Pale Waves have achieved their goal of showing a darker side to their sound with My Mind Makes Noises, and proved there’s more to their songwriting than catchy choruses.
There’s no doubt that the Manchester band are lacking in the most intricate of guitar or experimental of sounds which a lot of people are looking for as of late; Pale Waves are a pop band, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. They’re not trying to be something they’re not, what you expect of them is exactly what you get; quality, catchy and well written guitar pop.
Guitar music isn’t dead, it’s just expanding into other genres, and it’s bands like Pale Waves who capture younger fans attention and make the next generation of fans of guitars.
It’s time to drop the comparisons and give Pale Waves the credit that they deserve, and My Mind Makes Noises is more than capable of making that happen.
My Mind Makes Noises is released via Dirty Hit on 14th September