£19.99 – Indies Only Very Limited Transparent LP
£19.99 – Standard Black LP
Pale Waves have no right to exist, let alone crash through 2018’s halfway mark as Britain’s most promising new band. Everybody knows guitar music is dead, that lyrics are so unimportant that they’re bordering on being an inconvenience, and that the album is a defunct format. Everyone knows blending in is the new standing out, that aggressively cropped photos are better than the full picture, and that the illusion of transparency is so much more important than opting for honesty. So Pale Waves really shouldn’t exist, but they do, and it feels like something huge is about to happen.
This hasn’t exactly happened on the quiet. From uploading their first songs in 2015 to the sold-out live dates, rampant critical acclaim and rapidly expanding fan community of 2018, Heather Baron-Gracie (vocals), Ciara Doran (drums), Hugo Silvani (guitar) and Charlie Wood (bass) have already scorched an impressive path through pop with singles like My Obsession and There’s A Honey.
And that album? Well think of it as being a bit like a playlist, but controversially all the songs actually make sense together. It’s shaping up to be an uncommonly special debut, with new tracks such as Eighteen and One More Time capturing the turbulence and brutality of love in remarkable detail. The album’s title, My Mind Makes Noises, is already tattooed across Ciara from the band’s right arm, but before it was an album title and before it was ink, it was a line in the band’s song Noises. And long before that, and right now, and for who knows how long in the future, it’s the phrase Heather uses to describe her state of mind. “It’s a title that totally reflects how I feel,” she acknowledges — and get ready to find out plenty about how Heather feels. It’s not always pretty. Mind you, the truth rarely is.
At the heart of Pale Waves is Ciara and Heather’s extraordinary songwriting partnership, and at the heart of that partnership is an extraordinary friendship. It began on November 14th, the 2014, on Manchester’s Chester Street — halfway between the two first year uni students’ respective halls of residence. “My course was totally dominated by guys,” Heather remembers, “and there were only three girls in my class. The whole vibe was very, ‘oh, you’re a girl, pick up an acoustic guitar and sing us a nice song’. I just wanted to make friends with at least one girl.” During October she was scrolling through the students who’d joined the uni’s Facebook group and eventually found Ciara. They chatted online for a month, then arranged to meet. “We connected instantly,” Ciara remembers. “The bond was there straight away.” Their friendship was cemented when they obsessed over bands like The Cure, Lucy Rose and whatever else Ciara had cued up on her iTunes: pop, 80s and 90s artists. They’d stay up until seven in the morning, just listening to music.
When the pair played each other the songs they’d been working on they decided to pool talents, and Pale Waves was born. As Ciara recalls: “We told each other: we’re going to really do this.” And the more they worked together, the more their idiosyncratic, totally fresh pop sound started to emerge. “We never consciously decided to stand out,” is how Heather recalls their sonic development. “We just did what we did and it started to work.” They didn’t look for a space to slot into: they created their own. And over the period of two years, Pale Waves gradually took shape. “It probably seems like a wasted youth,” Ciara admits, “but I think if we hadn’t put those two years in, Pale Waves would never have happened.”
- there’s a honey
- came in close
- loveless girl,
- when did i lose it all
- one more time
- television romance
- karl (i wonder what its like to die)