Counting 1980s and ’90s bands such as Cocteau Twins, the Blue Nile, and the Cranberries among their inspirations, Pale Waves introduced their exuberant dark pop with the EP All the Things I Never Said in early 2018. Their full-length debut, My Mind Makes Noises, appeared later the same year and was a Top Ten hit in their native U.K. Three years later, they returned with sophomore album Who Am I?
Manchester-based quartet Pale Waves began in the early 2010s when drummer Ciara Doran and vocalist/songwriter Heather Baron-Gracie met at a liquor store. The two became inseparable best friends and spent two years hanging out and working on songs in a very insular manner, eventually enlisting bassist Charlie Wood and second guitarist Hugo Silvani to transform their bedroom concept into a proper band. Fully formed, they crafted a sound heavy on guitars and the influence of dreamier synth pop acts, like the Cure and Cocteau Twins. In 2015, the group posted a few demo versions of songs online, eventually catching the attention of indie label Dirty Hit. Dirty Hit signed Pale Waves in 2017 and issued their debut single, “There’s a Honey,” produced by members of labelmates the 1975. Along with frequent touring, Pale Waves offered up second single “Television Romance” before issuing their first EP, All the Things I Never Said, in February 2018. A few months later, Pale Waves inked a deal with Interscope Records to handle their U.S. releases and issued the single “Kiss” from the band’s full-length debut. My Mind Makes Noises followed in September 2018 and reached number eight on the U.K. album chart.
In early 2020, Pale Waves returned with “SkinDeepSkyHighHeartWide,” a collaboration with singer/songwriter Lawrence Rothman for the soundtrack to the horror film The Turning. The group delivered their second studio album, Who Am I?, in early 2021.
“The Manchester band moves from cult concern to the big leagues with an impressive, deft debut” – NME
“Perfect millennial pop” The Guardian“Pale Waves is the goth pop hybrid you didn’t know you needed” – The Fader