14 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While the enthusiastic support of labelmates The 1975 has undoubtedly been a positive for Pale Waves, it’s also encouraged unhelpful comparisons. Both trade in artful rock decorated with the electronic gloss and earworm melodies of ’80s pop, but, as this debut proves, the Manchester quartet are their own band—direct in their melodies but agile enough to find the path between drive-time rock and strobe-lit warehouse raves (“Red”). Much of their personality derives from singer/guitarist Heather Baron-Gracie, whose diary-candid lyrics and yearning voice invest each song with empathy, whether she’s swamped by self-doubt (“Noises”) or celebrating her late grandfather on the sparse “Karl (I Wonder What It’s Like to Die).”

EDITORS’ NOTES

While the enthusiastic support of labelmates The 1975 has undoubtedly been a positive for Pale Waves, it’s also encouraged unhelpful comparisons. Both trade in artful rock decorated with the electronic gloss and earworm melodies of ’80s pop, but, as this debut proves, the Manchester quartet are their own band—direct in their melodies but agile enough to find the path between drive-time rock and strobe-lit warehouse raves (“Red”). Much of their personality derives from singer/guitarist Heather Baron-Gracie, whose diary-candid lyrics and yearning voice invest each song with empathy, whether she’s swamped by self-doubt (“Noises”) or celebrating her late grandfather on the sparse “Karl (I Wonder What It’s Like to Die).”

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