Pale Waves makes waves with their new goth pop EP All The Things I Never Said. Here’s KALX’s scoop on the latest and the greatest in the gothy underground.
By Stormy Phoenix
If Robert Smith of The Cure and Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees had a baby, it would be vocalist/ guitarist Heather Baron-Gracie of recent Manchester quartet Pale Waves. With pale skin, dark attire, makeup that looks like Alice Cooper, and heartbroken lyrics, Baron-Gracie is fast becoming a goth symbol for a new generation. The four-piece group, composed of drummer Ciara Doran, guitarist Hugo Silvani, and bassist Charlie Wood, all joined Baron-Gracie after their former band Creek broke up in 2014. Heavily influenced by The Cure, The Cranberries, Cocteau Twins, and Avril Lavigne, Pale Waves are the next goth pop band, and their new EP All The Things I Never Said is proof.
Their first track “New Year’s Eve” is definitely a synth-heavy catchy emotional song with funky guitar that is similar to Taylor Dayne “Tell It To My Heart”. “New Year’s Eve” is about hope and expectation on a New Year’s night when Baron-Gracie sings:
I don’t wanna be alone on New Year’s Eve/
Do you even wanna be with me?
“New Year’s Eve” reminds me of Wham’s “Last Christmas”. They are similar in the case of dreamy melodies and bittersweet loss of love. A glittering ode of unrequited love when you confess your feelings on a holiday and get rejected by your infatuation. The song speaks and sings of sorrow as well as having your heart crushed. Their next track, “The Tide” is their very first written song that has become a fan favorite. The song itself is of love when she sings:
Lose me like the ocean/ feel the motion/
I’ll be the sea, honey/
And you’ll be the tide/
Pale Waves can write songs from being lonely on a holiday, comparing love to a tide, and for their song “My Obsession”, Baron-Gracie writes and sings about her grandfather’s grief from the loss of her grandmother. Baron-Gracie admits that “My Obsession” is a complex song that breaks her heart every time she performs. It’s a slower tempo that conjures feelings of grief and despair. Pale Waves pick up the beat to close out the EP with their song “Heavenly”. The video shows Baron-Gracie wearing an all black one-piece (that almost resembles an Edward Scissorhands wardrobe) with bright blue eye makeup and is pulled by strings like a puppet. She sings:
We can dance forever and pretend/
I wanna, I wanna stay ‘til the end
Ultimately, Pale Waves are 80s pop driven with dance rhythms to bring their fans onto the dance floor. I really enjoy that Pale Waves are reviving the 80s goth pop genre back into this era that seem to have forgotten the roots of British new wave. The band is currently signed to Dirty Hit records, the same label as The 1975, another recognized British act. Last year, Pale Waves toured with The 1975 and their single “Television Romance” was directed by The 1975 frontman Matty Healy. Recently, Pale Waves performed in San Francisco at The Chapel. We hope for them to return back to the Bay Area so KALXers can watch this electric band play live! Perhaps, if we’re lucky enough we can get a taste of radio romance for a future Pale Waves interview on KALX.
Jisselle Fernandez aka Stormy Phoenix has been a KALX volunteer since 2015 and is studying in broadcasting. When she’s not volunteering, working, or going to school, she loves to attend concerts!