The sheer scale of Pale Waves‘ rise has been nothing short of phenomenal. Having only formed in 2014, the quartet’s first official release wasn’t until last year when they dropped catchy single ‘There’s A Honey’, propelling them to the forefront of upcoming indie bands. Since then, the quartet have toured across Europe and North America with label mates The 1975, and have now unveiled their debut EP, ‘All The Things I Never Said’.
Straight in with festive party ballad ‘New Year’s Eve’ which sets off this dance-fuelled, emotional ride of an EP, it’s all glittery, shimmering guitars occupying the main melodies, whilst groove-filled bass lines and off-beat drum hooks glide alongside. This formula of shiny, sonically pleasing sounds over dance-worthy rhythms is a trademark theme of Pale Waves, and one that’s executed perfectly, with a handful of indie hooks which flirt with catchy poppy choruses. You just know you’ll be singing this with your mates after necking a few glasses of wine come New Year’s Eve.
The infectious vocals in ‘The Tide’ grab you as soon as frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie opens her mouth. The lyric “You look so cool standing there / With your baggy jeans and silky hair” is sublimely simple, and yet stunningly memorable. She carries a light 80s pop vocal superbly through breaks in her voice, alongside a silk-spun guitar sound that The 1975 frontman Matt Healy himself would desire.
‘Obsession’ stands out as the EP’s slow track, with a hauntingly beautiful synth introduction and a typically The 1975 ascending harmonic slide into the swaying rhythm of the song. With echoing drums staying long in the mix over a heavenly electronic tone, this track tugs at every heartstring in a bitterly sweet manner, as you want to dance your tears away.
Finale ‘Heavenly’ is just as the title suggests. Picking up the upbeat again, drummer Ciara Doran‘s double clapping snare drum in the chorus perfectly showcases the feel-good factor of this track – quite fitting for a song about “dancing forever”. The glimmering guitars flutter throughout alongside Charlie Wood‘s funk-filled punchy bass lines, completing a charismatically charming EP.
Pale Waves are without doubt one of the brightest, fresh new acts in music. With captivating lyrics and gothic-indie grooves galore, ‘All The Things I Never Said’ is a real treat from start-to-finish. The various influences of dream pop, indie, 80s nostalgia, and synth-pop (to name a few) allow Pale Waves to demonstrate a deviation from definition, leaving us gasping for more. It’s a good thing that a full-length isn’t far away.