And so, we're finally here. Pale Waves have announced their debut album after eighteen months of ever building hype. The most likely band to take over planet pop, 'My Mind Makes Noises' is but a couple of months away, and the excitement level is already at fever pitch.
But it's not all about the destination. There's the journey too. Since their debut single first came kicking out of the traps, we've been fascinated by Pale Waves' rise. Debuted on Huw Stephens' BBC Radio 1 show, it took a week or two for 'There's A Honey' to finally make its debut online - but once it did, things started to move at pace.
We've pulled together the key moments in Pale Waves ascent so far. Call it a reminder for the converted, a catch-up for those who have somehow managed to hold out, and a record of just how many absolute bangers one band can drop before their debut album even arrives.
Bands don’t deliver songs like ‘There’s A Honey’ out of nowhere. From the trademark opening shimmer and the neon glow of its opening bars, through to the effortlessly cool shuffle of the verse and the dry-ice clap of the chorus, Pale Waves’ debut single still sounds flawless. Like a San Junipero open-top cruise, they ride the zeitgeist of tomorrow without the shortest glance back to yesterday. A helping hand from their peers in the form of production from the 1975’s Matty and George should take nothing away from a track that announced a very special band indeed.
If ‘There’s A Honey’ was a show of promise, ‘Television Romance’ was a fist smashed on the hype machine’s early warning system. Packed with the same DNA as it’s older sister, it twisted the strands to run even closer to the ideal. Stepping out in their own right, this is the point the gauntlet hit the floor. That Pale Waves would be 2018’s buzziest new band was no longer in doubt - the only question was how quickly they’d reach their throne.
One of the more underrated progressions in Pale Waves’ journey comes out strong when watching back the video for ‘New Years Eve’. Wearing the band’s dark/light aesthetic on its sleeve, it’s a waypoint in the journey from blinking bairns to confident pop stars in waiting. The more reserved Pale Waves that inhabited late 2017 and the one that looks set to take over planet pop in mid-2018 are different beasts, but the path travelled only makes that swagger greater still.
While, by this point, their doubters began to take joy in pointing out Pale Waves still existed in the neon-tinted universe of their label mates The 1975, ‘My Obsession’ showed the true state of play. While all those thematic tricks remain, there were others too other things too. The twinkling, glitter-ball prom night light at the end of an 80s American teen movie, it suggested a lineage that goes beyond a single band. With every new song from here on out, the dynamic shifted further from prodigies to peers.
If anything, ‘The Tide’ was the point that an aesthetic became Pale Waves’ signature sound. Each new offering only strengthened the house colours that lit their goth-pop, salty-sweet shimmer. Crucially, though, it’s a track that breezed with the confidence of a band who increasingly knew exactly who they needed to be.
As the band continued to retool their earliest tracks, each one only highlighted the strength of their conviction. With ‘Heavenly’, they showed stadium level ambition - soaring to higher planes. A sound prepped for arenas, it’s the first real taster of the big pop powerhouse that underpins some of the standout moments on their debut album ‘My Mind Makes Noises’. But more of that ‘later’.
By the time 2018’s festival season started to take hold, whispers of Pale Waves’ debut album were gathering pace. Around the time of ‘Kiss’, the band told us they had about five or six songs laid down. One of the previously heard tracks to make the cut for the final full-length, that they’ve left any of their previous turbo-bangers on the cutting room floor should only tell us just how high the bar is set.
The sort-of-title-track of Pale Waves’ debut album - ’Noises’ is the beating heart of the band’s first phase. Honest and raw, but still a shimmering pop delight, it feels like a change of pace. It shares unspoken thoughts, back of the mind worries and all-consuming doubts. Those emotions and fears have always been lurking in the background, finding a home in the shadows while the band play in the neon strobes, but now they too have come into the spotlight. And still Pale Waves aren’t afraid.
Pale Waves are on the cover of the August 2018 issue of Dork. To read the full thing, order a copy direct below. You can also subscribe to Dork here, read online via Issuu here, or pick up a copy from independent record stores and venues around the UK. Pale Waves' debut album 'My Mind Makes Noises' is set for release on 14th September 2018.
Featuring Pale Waves, Maggie Rogers, Death Cab For Cutie and more.