Sunday, August 07, 2022

'Unwanted' marks new territory for Pale Waves

Manchester-based Indie pop-rock band Pale Waves hit the mainstream in 2017 with popular songs such as 'Television romance' joining the ranks of bands such as the 1975 and Wolf Alice by signing with Dirty Hit Records the same year. Electric new album 'Unwanted' is a shift from their second album 'Who am I' released in 2021.

While the previous album focuses on the four-piece establishing themselves as a band and perfecting their sound, 2022's Unwanted is a departure from this finding the band experimenting with the boundaries of different genres. 

Stylistically the album leans towards a sound reminiscent of 2000's pop punk and emo anthems that have no doubt influenced the band. This is helped by the band’s choice of producer, Zakk Cervini, who has previously worked with artists within this genre. Opening up about the ways in which the new album differs from their previous work, lead singer Heather Baron- Gracie states, “Almost everyone has felt like they don’t belong or has been made to feel like they’re not good enough.”  ‘Unwanted explores themes of “loss, vanity, anger, jealousy, and hopelessness.” In a way that listeners have not previously seen from the band. 

The band have hinted at the shifting tone of the album with three singles. ‘ Jealousy', 'Reasons To Live', and the song that opens the album 'Lies’. it can be argued that this encapsulates the sound that the band are trying to put forward with the song being reminiscent of pop-punk bands such as Paramore

The titular song 'Unwanted' highlights a feeling that many of the band fans can relate Baron-Gracie explains,“The album dives into feelings that I felt not only needed to be written but that our fans want to hear,”  with lyrics reading as what could be seen as an anthem to not only their fans but anyone who has been rejected not only by those around them but a song that anyone who has felt disheartened and 'unwanted’ can relate to.

One of the standout songs on the band's newest album is ‘The Hard Way’, which comes at a point in the album in which the melodic beginning is almost jarring to the listener. Poignant lyrics such as ‘they took all your power and got in your head before you could even bloom’. The band have stated that the song is directly influenced by events that occurred within the life of the band, articulating a genuine discussion regarding mental health while radiating a sense of comfort to the listener.  highlighting the intimate tone that the band has turned to with the release of this album.

It is clear that the shifting tone of the band is not something that the band has taken lightly. While ‘Unwanted’ does mark new territory for Pale Waves, Fans can look forward to an album that follows the relatable story of feeling spurned by society through catchy tunes that can be screamed at the top of your lungs.

Georgia Aldcroft 

Image: 'Unwanted' Official Album Cover

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