At first glance, based off their goth appearance alone, you might think that Pale Waves produces much darker music than they do. But when you listen to their debut full-length album, My Mind Makes Noises, you realize they are filled with bright pop melodies, with strong 80s influence that put them in the same realm as The Cure.
Based in Manchester, UK, Pale Waves is comprised of Heather Baron-Gracie (vocals, guitar), Ciara Doran (drums), Hugo Silvani (guitar), and Charlie Wood (bass). With the release of My Mind Makes Noises, and the help of label mates The 1975, Pale Waves have delivered a sound that perfectly plays to a young audience helps bridge the gap between 80s and modern pop.
The album opens up with “Eighteen”. Right away you hear the pulsing synth before Heather’s distinct vocals come in. Lyrically this song speaks to those young-love teenage feelings that nearly everyone experiences. Sonically this song explodes into an infectious chorus, poppy drums and driving guitar riffs.
You should know that song-after-song, this album never really relents in it’s pop-hooks. It’s a non-stop supply of melodies that will get stuck in your head. “There’s a Honey” is another perfect example of that.
The third song “Noises” where the album title is derived from, has perhaps one of the catchiest choruses and subsequently one of my favorite songs on the album. The music video is also an excellent display of the band’s dark / gothic visual fashion style and shows how the contrasting visual and sonic styles combine into a unique experience that is undeniably intriguing.
Hands-down, my favorite song on the album is “One More Time”. Honestly I’ve probably listened to this song over one hundred times already. There’s just something about it that sounds flawless, the writing the production, everything sounds perfectly executed. The video is visually stunning and reminiscent of the early days of The White Stripes, filled with red, white and black tones.
If you haven’t already realized, Pale Waves, knows how to write a song and keep you engaged. Their ability to pump out hook after hook is a gift that keeps on giving. “Television Romance” is one of those songs that you crank up the volume a few extra notches when the chorus comes on.
For a debut album, Pale Waves, didn’t hold anything back. They packed a whopping fourteen songs onto My Mind Makes Noises and gave the world an extensive introduction into their sound and style.
I was able to see them perform in Nashville at Mercy Lounge to a sold-out crowd who was singing along to almost every word. Even though this band is young, they’ve already found an audience and connected in a meaningful way.
My Mind Makes Noises release date: 09.14.18 | Label: Interscope / Dirty Hit Limited