2018 has been an eventful year for music but nothing measures up to the success of Pale Waves. In the space of months, Pale Waves have risen to become reigning emo pop perfectionists. Their latest EP, All The Things I Never Said, was a succinct depiction of the band’s addictive sound and personal, yet broadly appealing, lyrics. The band’s debut album, My Mind Makes Noises, is nothing short of outstanding, but it’s not quite perfect.
While the album is officially released September 14th, SlantedPress was fortunate enough to get an early listen to the album. My Mind Makes Noises is unlike any other album I’ve come across. For a debut, the album is a promising showcase of the band’s potential. Opening with the familiar ‘Eighteen’, ‘There’s A Honey’, and ‘Noises’, the album kicks off with a strong start, but it’s the middle of this album where Pale Waves really show their style. There’s no doubt the opening few songs are strong contenders, but tracks such as ‘Came In Close’, ‘Loveless Girl’, and ‘Drive’ really embody Pale Waves’ ability to create polished emo pop. The middle few songs are addictive, electric and lyrically sound.
After the high of such well-produced songs, the album quality backtracks a little with the likes of ‘Where Did I Lose It All’. The song offers a welcomed album break with a slower pace that gradually builds throughout, but I still can’t push the idea of it feeling like a filler track. Next is ‘She’ and if the album has a criticism it’d be this track. The song feels neither here or there and comes across as a little safe, especially when Pale Waves have showcased what they’re capable of with hit tracks ‘Drive’ and ‘Noises’. The album continues to plateau with ‘One More Time’. Trying to recall the track from memory felt impossible as there was nothing special about it. However, all is not lost once you hit ‘Television Romance’, the iconic track marks a swift change in album quality. ‘Red’ quickly follows and it’s another clean, catchy tune. The song blends Pale Waves’ signature sound with sentimental lyrics to create a powerful pop anthem that is impossible to dislike. The album neatly concludes with easy listening pop tracks ‘Kiss’ and ‘Black’ and closes with emotive ‘Karl (I Wonder What It’s Like To Die)’. Lyrically, the track holds up to the rest of the album, but, vocally, it’s one of the weaker Pale Waves songs, especially as a closing track.
Conclusively, Pale Waves’ debut album is brimming with hits and catchy hooks. The lyrics are polished, the production feels clean and songs like ‘Drive’ and ‘Red’ show Pale Waves are capable of pushing boundaries with their music. That said, I worry the band are falling into their own honey trap. Several of their songs feel like glamourized imitations of previously released songs which takes away from the brilliance of My Mind Makes Noises. Overall, it’s a solid debut and the band can only get better from here.
You can check out the music video for 'Noises' here: