Riding a wave of success at the start of 2018, Pales Waves have already found themselves in the top five of the BBC’s Sound of 2018 list and have a UK tour in the next month – including a sold-out stop at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on 4 March. This new EP is only four tracks long but gives a solid taster of what we can expect from their debut album later this year.
Following in the vein of their previous singles like ‘Television Romance’, these four tracks have a synth-pop styling that brings two other bands to mind. Fans of The 1975 and Chvrches will love Pale Waves. They perfectly blend the synths similar to those of Matty Healy’s band with a female vocalist (Heather Baron-Gracie).
Opening track ‘New Year’s Eve’ could go perfectly hand-in-hand with the closing track from Taylor Swift’s latest album Reputation, with both tracks capturing the angst surrounding the most over-hyped night of the year. It could work almost like a double bill for before and after the night.
Speaking of angst, the lyrics and bass line of ‘My Obsession’ also brought to mind some of Paramore’s earlier, angst-ridden material. Lines like “and I swear that I’ll never stop loving you, and I’ll die by your side if you want me to” cement this thinking. Despite dark lyrics like this, there’s something positively upbeat about all four of these tracks, though. It probably is largely to do with the plucky basslines and excellent pop production.
While this Manchester band’s goth image couldn’t be further from the synth-pop sound they’re creating, it’ll be interesting to see what tricks they have up their sleeves to follow up this EP with. If they continue to blend dark lyrics with bouncing pop synths, their debut album is sure to be something special.
4 out of 5