Friday, September 14, 2018
Pale Waves : " My Mind Makes Noises"
I've been collecting singles from the band leading up to this album. So I've been looking forward to it. While I've described this band to friends as a mix of Taylor Swift with the Cure. The opener is pretty bubble gum, but well done for what it. You don't get to hear the meat of what they do until "There's a Honey". The hook in the chorus is subtle, but I've woken up at 4 AM with it in my head as I stumble to the bathroom. It's songs like this one that have provided a soundtrack to my summer and navigating the first feelings of new relationships. There is a unhinged vulnerability to her lyrics that resonates with me. The title track has lyrics I can really relate to in regards to where anxiety and neurosis mixes with the initial burst of chemicals that comes with fluttering stomachs. Heather's voice alone can induce some fluttering, as since this is an album review I'l just letting the pictures do the talking in regards to her other key selling points.
"Came in Close" is a more upbeat dance song. I feel pretty positive when I hear it, though it is moments likes these that puts them very close to Chrvches zip code. "Loveless Girl" is moodier though with pop slick production. Like many of these songs the strength lies in the honesty of the lyrical narrative, which makes what would other wise sound like smart pop, even sharper. There are hints of the 80s, one of the biggest influences seems to be Cyndi Lauper. "Drive" shows how Heather can throw her voice around as needed. The guitar is often mixed against the synths pretty closely so until there is distortion on them like in this song it can be hard to make out where they begin and keyboards end. Production wise the album is immaculate it one of the best vocal mixes I have heard since Taylor Swift's album. "When Did I Lose It All" goes into a chorus that makes me think of if the Cocteau Twins were a pop band instead of ethereal elf songs. This might be the strongest song that was not a single.
"She" is an atmospheric ballad that has a teenage jealousy to it that I don't relate to as much. There is an actual guitar solo on this one. "One More Time" is a bouncy break up song. It's anthem like chorus doesn't work as well for me as the verses. "Television Romance" is one of the more 80s sounding singles, but it's also a great fucking song. The guitar riffs sound like Prince while her voice has a quirk that really works. "Red" is more guitar driven that the bulk of the album, and proves the band does have a more organic side. Lyrically it could be a Tay Tay b-side, it's also the first song where she admits to being a vixen. The guitar is what really brings this one home and sets them apart from radio pop. "Kiss" might be my favorite song from these guys, though the lyrics factor into this. "Black" is another love gone wrong song. It's her voice that really sells it though more guitar in the verses doesn't hurt anything. It gets stripped way down to an acoustic guitar on "Karl". It's raw vulnerability that really sells this song. This band proves Brit pop doesn't have to have anything to do with the Beatles. I'll round this one up to a 10.