Despite being named as the 2018 winners of NME Magazine’s ‘Under The Radar’ award, Manchester’s own indie-pop goths, Pale Waves, have made quite a splash in the last 12 months. So to celebrate, we caught up with lead singer-songwriter Heather Baron-Gracie on the eve of their first trip to Australia to chat about their upcoming debut LP, living their dreams at just 23 and how having a row can help make a record.
“If all goes to plan you will soon be seeing a lot more of Pale Waves’ world. This will be our first album so we’re still getting used to everything.” Believed to be called My Mind Makes Noises, the highly anticipated release should drop sometime during our springtime.
“It’s really exciting having so many tracks ready and knowing we’ve put everything we have into it, but it’s kind of scary at the same time,” says Baron-Gracie. “We’ve worked on this for so long and and it’s full of our most precious and private thoughts. Now I can’t wait for people to hear it because it shows a different side to us as songwriters.”
Pale Waves found life when Baron-Gracie met drummer Ciara Doran while both were attending the British and Irish Modern Music Institute in 2014. “Ciara writes a lot of the music, then I write the lyrics, but I see Ciara as an amazing songwriter in her own right because she is just so talented,” Baron-Gracie says.
In 2015, bassist Charlie Wood and guitarist Hugo Silvani joined the two friends to complete the current line-up. “We have so much fun, we’re always getting giggly together, and Ciara and I have such a strong bond it feels like we’re part of each other.”
Known for their intensely personal lyrics and dark new-wave energy, Pale Waves sound is refreshingly honest and emotionally raw at times, and with so much of themselves invested it’s no surprise that sometimes their songwriting sessions aren’t smooth sailing. “To be honest we have had a few disagreements but I feel like that’s what makes a song great, you know?” Baron-Gracie says.
“If everything was easy then I don’t think our songs would be as interesting as they are. Our last fallout was over a guitar solo on a song we have called ‘She’. Ciara and I were arguing about it in on tour in Sweden – but eventually we wrote an amazing guitar solo. So I guess arguments aren’t as bad when it ends in something so good,” she laughs.
After the success of their EP, All The Things I Never Said, earlier this year, Pale Waves have spent the last few months working alongside a tight-knit crew that they trust, at home in the UK. “We are in the same studio with the same producer and the same engineer we’ve used in the past. I’m really particular about who we work with and who we’re surrounded by, especially when we’re writing and recording because it’s such a fragile and personal process. It’s only the band and two other people,” she adds. “It’s a really close team – we don’t have any secrets.”
Pale Waves will touch down in Melbourne this week to play an all-ages show at the Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy. “I can’t wait to share what we’ve been doing. I miss being on tour because you get to see so many places and meet so many amazing people. I can’t believe how lucky we are – it’s my dream and I’m only 23.”
When & Where: The Evelyn, Melbourne – July 12.
Written by Natalie Rogers