Manchester Four-piece Back With New Style – and Upcoming Second Album
Both part of the Dirty Hit juggernaut, Pale Waves have often been compared to labelmates The 1975.
Definitely, their 2018 debut All the Things I Never Said lent itself to comparisons with the more synthpop features of The 1975’s discography, with a goth edge reminiscent of The Cure’s more ‘poppy’ tunes.
With hordes of young, adoring fans, you’d be forgiven for thinking the quarter were going to aim for more of the same – it worked the first time, right?
Not so. They’re back with the lead single from upcoming sophomore album Who Am I?, and it’s something of a diversion from type.
Frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie likened the band’s new material to a crossover of Canadian pop-rock princess Avril Lavigne and American singer-songwriter Liz Phair in the below tweet – so presumably not quite the goth-pop of previous material.
Imagine Avril meets Liz phair = new pale waves album lol— HBG (@HBARONGRACIE) November 7, 2020
Instantly, as ‘Change‘ starts, you can tell that it’s going to be something new from the Manchester band – the track is certainly true to its name. The Lavigne comparison hinted at by Baron-Gracie is definitely evident here, while the acoustic pop-rock of Taylor Swift’s Red can also be heard.
From the first strums, ‘Change’ takes on a more stripped-back feel. Moving through the pre-chorus into the chorus itself, Ciara Doran’s drumming grows in stature and works effectively alongside the guitar in a way we haven’t really seen from Pale Waves in the studio previously.
Of course, some things never change. Baron-Gracie’s vocals remain full of passion and emotion – particularly near the end of the track where it’s just her voice holding its own against some gentle strumming of the guitar.
The rest of the band then come in for a bombastic finish – an ideal way to announce their return with this new style. Their dedicated fans are sure to enjoy ‘Change‘, but they might pick up some new fans too.
Check out ‘Change’ on Spotify here:
‘I’m a music and culture journalist currently based in the West Midlands. Always on the lookout for up-and-coming artists but my favourite bands include IDLES and Arctic Monkeys. Probably last seen at a gig.