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Album review: Pale Waves - My Mind Makes Noises


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Pale Waves’ highly anticipated indie-pop debut album, My Mind Makes Noises, is finally here via Dirty Hit.

The Manchester 4-piece have been creating the biggest stir in music over the past year; with their goth-pop label and being described as “the female 1975” (despite being a mixed band); My Mind Makes Noises shakes all of those assumptions and places them on their own platform.

The album opener and most recent single to preview the album, ‘Eighteen’ delves into the emotional tale of a first love; the eye-opening experiences, butterflies in the stomach and new-found feelings. “I finally felt like I could feel for the first time / When I met you”, sings Heather Baron-Gracie in the chorus, on top of glittering guitars and pop melodies. It's undoubtedly the catchiest chorus they have ever created, setting up the rest of the album as an idyllic coming-of-age record. 

My Mind Makes Noises includes the debut, fan-favourite single, ‘There’s a Honey’. A song that dabbles in the need of a sweet fix muddled with a vulnerable edge, “I will give you my body but I’m not sure that you want me”. Another contagious synth-led record from the quartet is ‘Noises’, a track that shows an almost insecure side, “What do you see when you look at me? / I can’t control my emotions”. This album is full of continuous hits that we already feel familiar with.

The unheard tracks support the pre-released singles in this collection, showing more of what we have come to expect and then some. ‘Came in Close’ expresses the worries about developing feelings for a friend; another perfect example of a coming-of-age dilemma that can be all-consuming, all-encompassing and, frankly, troublesome. A noticeably energetic track, ‘One More Time’ reflects on a past love from a younger age, with that classic Pale Waves touch and added vocal filters. It's edgy guitar riffs pack a nostalgic punch and make for an anthemic release.

‘Red’ opens with a less synthesised sound, a simple guitar jitter soon to be taken over by their synth-pop aesthetic that we have grown to adore. This track offers a thicker atmosphere than the rest of the album, a heavier drum and bass occupation that carries the song. Pale Waves close their new album with ‘Karl (I Wonder What It’s Like To Die)’ - an ode to lost loves. Showing a completely different side to the band than what we've seen before, it's a simple acoustic guitar-driven song, further proving that this is not your typical alternative-pop band.

My Mind Makes Noises takes you on a coming-of-age journey, reflecting on themes of love and friendship, driven home by a powerful closing track that makes you second guess this band. Pale Waves have picked out the vital elements to producing an addictive pop record whilst remaining true to themselves and showing that guitar music is still as relevant as ever before. There is certainly more to this young Mancunian quartet than catchy pop choruses and a captivating aesthetic.

The album release follows their summer of festivals across the world and comes ahead of their biggest headline tour yet across UK, Europe, Ireland and North America.

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