Posts Tagged ‘Pale Waves’

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This week my most awaited LP of 2018 thus far coming from the inimitable Low on their shadowy electronic masterpiece, ‘Double Negative’. There are synths akimbo on the new one from MCR up-n-comers Pale Waves, reminding me of a more youthful Kristin Kontrol (if only everyone loved that LP as much as I did), or a less saccharine Tegan & Sara. In fact, it’s a very electronic week on the heavy hitters, Those of you who love a good guitar can do FAR worse than The Goon Sax’s new outing on the ever-reliable Wichita Recordings, absolutely brimming with lyrical fire and melodic cleverness, and with the propulsive slacker vibes the Aussies do so well.

Low

Low  –  Double Negative

In 2018, Low will turn twenty-five. Since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker—the married couple whose heaven-and-earth harmonies have always held the band’s center—have pioneered a subgenre, shrugged off its strictures, recorded a Christmas classic, become a magnetic onstage force, and emerged as one of music’s most steadfast and vital vehicles for pulling light from our darkest emotional recesses. But Low will not commemorate its first quarter-century with mawkish nostalgia or safe runs through songbook favorites. Instead, in faithfully defiant fashion, Low will release its most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album ever: Double Negative, an unflinching eleven-song quest through snarling static and shattering beats that somehow culminates in the brightest pop song of Low’s career.

To make Double Negative, Low reenlisted B.J. Burton, the quietly energetic and adventurous producer who has made records with James Blake, Sylvan Esso, and The Tallest Man on Earth in recent years while working as one of the go-to figures at Bon Iver’s home studio, April Base. Burton recorded Low’s last album, 2015’s Ones and Sixes, at April Base, adding might to many of its beats and squelch and frisson beneath many of its melodies.

This time, though, Sparhawk, Parker, and bassist Steve Garrington knew they wanted to go further with Burton and his palette of sounds, to see what someone who is, as Sparhawk puts it, “a hip-hop guy” could truly do to their music. Rather than obsessively write and rehearse at home in Duluth, Minnesota, they would often head southeast to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, arriving with sketches and ideas that they would work on for days with Burton. Band and producer became collaborative co-writers, building the pieces up and breaking them down and building them again until their purpose and force felt clear. As the world outside seemed to slide deeper into instability, Low repeated this process for the better part of two years, pondering the results during tours and breaks at home. They considered not only how the fragments fit together but also how, in the United States of 2018, they functioned as statements and salves.

Double Negative is, indeed, a record perfectly and painfully suited for our time. Loud and contentious and commanding, Low fights for the world by fighting against it. It begins in pure bedlam, with a beat built from a loop of ruptured noise waging war against the paired voices of Sparhawk and Parker the moment they begin to sing during the massive “Quorum.” For forty minutes, they indulge the battle, trying to be heard amid the noisy grain, sometimes winning and sometimes being tossed toward oblivion. In spite of the mounting noise, Sparhawk and Parker still sing. Or maybe they sing because of the noise. For Low, has there ever really been a difference?

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Toy  –  The Willo

Since 2010, Toy have earned a reputation as a band of integrity, virtuosity and taste, with Tom, Maxim, Dominic, Charlie and (joining in 2015) Max creating a sound that is embedded in the underground tradition, yet distinctly their own. Now here comes a two-track twelve-inch on Tough Love, a foretaste of a forthcoming album in January 2019, which marks a new dawn for this most singular of bands.

‘The Willo’ is a dreamlike, seven-minute glide, redolent of a forest at sunset and just as pretty, but not without hints of malevolence. Maxim’s fingerpicking acoustic melds with electric twang from Dominic, and a whirling organ from Max Oscarnold gives this elegant creation an extra layer of disorientation and depth. “People appear to have seen Will-o’-the-wisp, a mysterious green-blue light, over the centuries. It generally means something ominous is about to happen”, says Tom.

Then there is ‘Energy’, which lives up to its name with thunderously metronomic drums from Charlie Salvidge and a ferocious guitar from Dominic O’Dair. The lyrics, culled from a story written by Max about a nighttime ritual, are obscured by the barrage-like forward momentum of the music.

The twelve-inch, recorded and mixed by the band between Oscarnold’s Stoke Newington flat and a south London studio, is the first release for Toy on their new label Tough Love, representing the latest stage in the evolution of the band. Since their inception, they have released the acclaimed albums Toy (2012), Join The Dots (2013) and Clear Shot (2016), and toured everywhere from Serbia to China, while holding onto that youthful, magical moment of discovering strange new worlds of innocence and experience.

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The Goon Sax

The Goon Sax are James Harrison, Louis Forster and Riley Jones from Brisbane, Australia. Still in high school when they made their first album Up To Anything in 2016, their brand of awkwardly transcendent teenage guitar pop took earned them wide-spread critical acclaim.

For album number two, they flew to Melbourne to record with James Cecil and Cameron Bird, respectively former/current members of Architecture In Helsinki, and ‘We’re Not Talking’ shows how much can change between the ages of 17 and 19. It’s a record that takes the enthusiasms of youth and twists them into darker, more sophisticated shapes. Relationships are now laced with hesitation, remorse, misunderstanding and ultimately compassion.

Drummer Riley Jones really comes to the fore here, joining Louis and James in singing lead and writing songs for the first time, making the band the musical equivalent of an equilateral triangle (the strongest shape in physics).

Delivering brilliantly human and brutally honest vignettes of adolescent angst, The Goon Sax brim with personality, charm and heart-wrenching honesty. ‘We’re Not Talking’ is a record made by restless artists, defying expectations as if hardly noticing, and its complexity makes ‘We’re Not Talking’ even more of a marvel.

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Dilly Dally – Heaven

Heaven highlights Dilly Dally’s rough edges in all their ragged glory, drawing every potent ounce of energy from the foursome’s swampy tones, raspy vocals, and volatile rhythm section. While the music is undeniably ferocious, there’s uplift woven into the fabric of every track. The album opens with the dreamy “I Feel Free”, which begins as a floating, untethered soundscape before transforming into a soaring anthem for a world that’s ready to finally turn the page on all the darkness and disillusion the last few years have wrought. The inexorable “Believe” insists on self-confidence, while the driving “Sober Motel” celebrates the lucidity a clear mind, and the lilting “Sorry Ur Mad” makes a case for releasing yourself from the prisons of anger and resentment. Heaven carves out its own atheistic religion to get through the day, a faith that validates our pain as real but responds with a beaming light of hope. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]

Slothrust the pact

Slothrust  –  The Pact

Slothrust is principal songwriter, guitar player and unrepentant aesthete Leah Wellbaum, with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. On their fourth full-length album The Pact, Slothrust constructs a luscious, ethereal cosmos perforated with wormy portals and magic wardrobes, demonstrating more clearly than ever the band’s deft shaping of contrasting sonic elements to forge a muscular sound that’s uniquely their own. Bizarre and mundane, tender and confident. The awkward duality of the forever outsider, rightly reclaimed as power. This is The Pact. Produced and engineered by Billy Bush in Los Angeles (the band’s new home base), Slothrust’s new album is a confident journey across 12 songs that oscillate between a quietly reflective tenderness and a slick, sleek confidence; balancing playful innocence with ballsy swagger. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had making a record,” Wellbaum confirms. “We were able to take risks. I’m saying yes more than no these days.”

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Pale Waves  – My Mind Makes Noises

After signing a record deal with Dirty Hit in 2017, Manchester’s Pale Waves released their debut single “There’s a Honey”, followed by “Television Romance”. The following year, the band were ranked fifth in the BBC Sound of 2018 poll and won the NME Under the Radar Award at the NME Awards. They now return with their debut album which features the singles ‘There’s A Honey’, ‘Television Romance, ‘Kiss’, ‘Eighteen’ and new single ‘Black’.

Pale Waves are Heather (vocals, guitar), Ciara (drums), Hugo (guitar) and Charlie (bass).

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Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers

Richard Thompson’s new album is his first self-produced record in over a decade. It’s a minimal and spacious recording which, according to Thompson, is a projection of current events in his life. “This has been an intense year for myself and my family, getting older doesn’t mean that life gets easier! There are surprises around every bend. I think this reflects in the immediacy of the stories, and the passion in the songs. Sometimes I am speaking directly about events, at other times songs are an imaginative spin on what life throws at you. The music is just a mirror to life, but we try to polish that mirror as brightly as possible.” 13 Rivers spans thirteen tracks. It is an album as much about growth as it is about reflection. Says Thompson, “I don’t know how the creative process works – I suppose it is some kind of bizarre parallel existence to my own life. I often look at a finished song and wonder what the hell is going on inside me. We sequenced the weird stuff at the front of the record, and the tracks to grind your soul into submission at the back.” [Limited black and cream colored vinyl pressing also available.]

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First Aid Kit – Tender Offerings

“Technically, Tender Offerings are the four songs that did not make it onto Ruins. For these ladies, these precious songs did not fit the bombastic folk-nature of the album. Instead, they truly felt like tender offerings; too sweet and soft in scope to be fluidly aligned with their other tracks. Once, you hear such gorgeous tracks like, “I’ve Wanted You” and “All That We Get” you will understand their point. Instrumentally, you feel every hook, melody, and chorus was precisely and clearly made as a cloud creates a raindrop. This duo turn their guitar melodies into field of amber strings dancing in the suns of their voices like grains move with daylight.”

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Paul Weller – True Meanings

To put it simply, True Meanings, the fourteenth Paul Weller solo album and the 26th studio album of his entire career, is a record unlike any he has ever made before. It’s characterized by grandiose-yet-delicate, lush orchestration: an aesthetic to which Weller’s better-than-ever voice, singing some of his most nakedly honest words, is perfectly suited. A dreamy, peaceful, pastoral set of songs to get lost in, it’s both an album that his faithful audience has been wanting him to make for a long time, and an album that many new people outside of that audience will relate to.

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The Doors – Waiting For The Sun [Reissue/1968]

50th Anniversary reissue. This double-CD and single-LP collection features a new version of the album’s original stereo mix on both CD and 180-gram vinyl LP, which has been newly remastered from the original master tapes by Bruce Botnick, the Doors’ longtime engineer/mixer. The CD set also includes a second disc of 14 completely unreleased tracks: nine recently discovered “rough mixes” from the album recording sessions and five live songs from a 1968 Copenhagen show.

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Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now: Live at The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 DVD

Directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Murray Lerner, Both Sides Now: Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 features new interviews with Joni, discussing her recollections of the event intercut with festival footage, both onstage and behind the scenes, offering a fascinating insight into a now legendary concert from the artists point of view and putting the events of the day into context.

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Now over a year since debut single ‘There’s A Honey’ painted them as one of the most exciting new bands in the country, and with a debut EP under their belts, Pale Waves are truly beginning to find their voice. Pelting towards their debut album, new track ‘Noises’ – a live favourite for a while now – sees Heather Baron-Gracie translating the swagger and confidence she’s recently found on stage onto tape, and is a sign of a band still firmly on the up.

Adding yet more colours to the four-piece’s already-vibrant palette, ‘Noises’ is a spacious and anthemic return. “I feel like I’m slowly losing myself / I’m afraid that I need help” Heather sings, and though the track concerns self-doubt and a lack of confidence, it’s transmitted through her strongest vocal performance yet.

A leather-clad Heather Baron-Gracie stands in front of a packed house, Her dark bangs framing her big, green, extravagantly kohl-rimmed eyes. Baron-Gracie is the lead singer of the Manchester, England–based emo-pop group Pale Waves, and onstage she’s flanked by guitarist Hugo Silvani and bassist Charlie Wood, who look eerily alike, with Ciara Doran completing the quartet on drums. As they launch into moody songs inspired by the likes of Cocteau Twins and the Cure, the scene is a bit dark, but once the swirling guitars and synths come in, all the gloom and doom is left behind. In other words, that dark-eyed image belies the band’s sugary hooks. It shouldn’t work, but it does.

If Tim Burton had ever gotten his hands on a John Hughes script Edward Scissorhands’s Day Off Pale Waves would have fit right in on the soundtrack. Baron-Gracie’s dark, honest lyrics: “Oh, baby, won’t you stop it?/You and I haven’t got it/Television romance.” It’s a newfound professional hazard.

“A lot of people think that some songs are quite positive, that I’m saying a positive thing in ‘Television Romance,’Baron-Gracie explained before the show. “It’s not a love song! It’s the complete opposite — me rejecting someone. Jesus Christ, some people are so oblivious these days.”

The origin of Pale Waves goes back to 2014, when Baron-Gracie and Doran met while studying at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) in Manchester. The pair clicked instantly, staying up and playing music together late into the night, with Doran adding live drums on a few of Baron-Gracie’s solo acoustic tracks. “We’re just the perfect soul mates in music,” said Baron-Gracie.

They bought cheap electric guitars and pedals, and recorded early demos of “The Tide” and “Heavenly,” which attracted significant internet buzz, and got the attention of Silvani, who joined the band on guitar. “We never wanted it to be a duo,” said Baron-Gracie. “We always wanted, like, two other members.” The lineup would be complete after Wood joined the fold in 2015. The girls’ friendship serves as the backbone, and helps them keep the younger boys in line: At 23, they both have a few years on Silvani, 21, and Wood, 20. “We’re the mums,” said Baron-Gracie.

After playing gigs all around England, the band caught the eye of Jamie Osbourne, who signed Pale Waves to his label, Dirty Hit Records, and took over managing duties. Since then it’s been a roller-coaster ride, with the band jumping from tiny gigs in its home country to touring with labelmates the 1975 (also from Manchester), including an opening slot at Madison Square Garden last fall.

All the Things I Never Said, released in February, is a sort of Pale Waves timeline pairing the early infectious hits with newer songs like “My Obsession” and “New Year’s Eve” that have much darker undertones, lyrically. “This is the first introduction of my music,” said Baron-Gracie. “And I write music because I don’t want to talk about it in conversation, so it’s all the things I’ve never said. But now I’ve said them in music form.”

Ciara always laughs at me because ‘My Obsession’ is like my child,” Baron-Gracie said, calling it her favorite track on the collection. “There’s something about it that’s just so emo and, like, Eighties ballad.” At first listen, one might assume it’s about some sort of till-death-do-us-part, all-consuming crush: “And I swear that I’ll never stop loving you/And I’ll die by your side if you want me to.” But as is often the case with Pale Waves, first impressions can be deceiving.

“They always presume, don’t they? Yeah that frustrates me,” Baron-Gracie said. “The main influence is my grandparents, their relationship, and how I sort of watched when my grandma passed away, my grandad sort of died with her in a way,” she said. The song is really about loss and Baron-Gracie bearing witness to what it’s like to lose the one person you love the most. It’s also just really catchy.

At present, the Pale Waves catalog remains tiny, totaling just seven songs with the release of their newest pop single, “Kiss,” this week. “It still feels like we don’t have much music out for how much we’re doing. I kind of like that,” Baron-Gracie added. “I’d rather give less and make people want more rather than overwhelm people with so many unreleased Pale Waves songs.”

The band wrapped up its first U.S. headline tour last month, and has a full slate of festival dates on the calendar, including spots at Lollapalooza and Outside Lands, plus a handful of dates opening for Chvrches’ U.S. tour this August. It’s also hard at work on its forthcoming debut full-length, hopefully set to release sometime this summer via Dirty Hit/Interscope. Baron-Gracie isn’t shy to admit that the band wants it to reach No. 1, despite its emotionally darker material.

“It’s still pop songs though,” she said. “It will always be pop.”

Newcastle’s Hit The North Festival has announced the 2018 festival line-up.

Taking place on Sunday 6th May across 15 venues in Newcastle City Centre, Hit The North will continue to champion new music, from established bands with new releases to new bands on the scene. The Horrors have been announced as the first headliner for Hit The North 2018, following the release of their fifth studio album ‘V’.

Joining them on the line-up are acts including Marmozets, Tom Grennan, Blaenavon, Sunset Sons and Pale Waves. LMLL favourites MarsicansSea Girls and Hockey Dad also join this year’s line-up, championing new music.

This year, Hit The North Festival will take place across the full weekend with opening parties on Friday 4th May (Drenge, Jungle and Circa Waves), Meet The North on Saturday 5th May and the Hit The North on Sunday 6th May.

Tickets for the full weekend are priced at £50, with day tickets for the main festival available for £30 via Gigs North East. Find out more about the full Hit The North Festival 2018 line-up via HitTheNorthFestival.co.uk!

Pale Waves

Pale Waves have released their new single ‘The Tide’  is the latest song to be taken from their debut EP, ‘All These Things I’ve Never Said’, which is out on March 16th via their label Dirty Hit Records. 

The track is the third single taken from the band’s ‘All The Things I Never Said’ EP The release comes ahead of the band’s headline spring UK tour. Dating back to before they were signed, the song follows the releases of previous singles ‘Television Romance’ and ‘My Obsession’.
Read more at http://www.nme.com/news/music/pale-waves-the-tide-listen-2232846#IqPi7eymcpiVKgRS.99

‘The Tide’ is an unmistakably Pale Waves , with their trademark sound transporting you straight to the seventies with its instantly uplifting vibe.

If 2017 proved to be a bit of a whirlwind year for Manchester band Pale Waves, Then 2018 is likely to be something else entirely. As if earning fifth place in the BBC’s Sound of 2018 wasn’t enough, this month also sees the four-piece release “All the Things I Never Said”, their Matt Healy-produced debut EP.

A precursor to the band’s debut LP that’s due to drop later this year, All the Things I Never Said is four tracks of effortless indie-pop; its silky-smooth pop licks and sugar sweet vocal delivery masking a darkness that seems inherent to Pale Waves’ genetic make-up.

Opening with current single “New Year’s Eve” the band’s brand of glitzy goth pop is established from the outset. An infectious chorus belys an angsty sense of self-deprecation that permeates the track, establishing a dichotomy of pop pomp and twenty-something cynicism that works in Pale Waves’ favour, and continuing throughout the course of All the Things I Never Said.

Any such cynicism is left to fall by the wayside however, at least as far as following track “The Tide” is concerned. Possibly familiar to those who’ve been following the band for a while, its pimped-up production does nothing to hamper its hugely uplifting nature.

Elsewhere, closing number “Heavenly” might be familiar as well, that too undergoing a sonic makeover that serves to enhance the track’s expansive and texturous composition. It’s forthcoming single “My Obsession” that’s the most intriguing track included however. Slower than everything else on offer, you can’t help but feel that this is the direction the band’s forthcoming album will take. Darker in tone than its counterparts, and harbouring a sense of maturity that shows Pale Waves have more than just an ear for a melody.

Though the sugary delivery of much of All the Things I Never Said might leave some with a toothache, it’s impossible to deny how much fun their music is. More than just another synth-pop outfit however, the undercurrent of darkness that bubbles underneath the frothy, poppy façade separates them from their contemporaries and proving that Pale Waves will be this years must see band.

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New Year’s Eve is the debut EP by English Indie Pop band Pale Waves. The song “New Years Eve” was released through Dirty Hit Records as the band’s third single with the EP to be released on 18th January 2018.

The song was originally released on 7th November 2017 as a download and made available on streaming services the same day . The EP will have three tracks with the full track listing to be announced. It will also be pressed on a limited edition transparent heavyweight red 12″ vinyl,  On December 12th 2017 the second single “My Obsession” was released to radio. 

Ethereal dreampop from this BBC Sound of 2018 longlist nominated Manchester quartet, who released their debut single ‘There’s A Honey’ was produced by Matty Healy and George Daniel of The 1975 – with whom they toured the US. 80s new wave fused with rock-fused pop. Their debut EP, ‘New Year’s Eve’, will be released in January 2018.

Anyone who’s been paying attention to the Dirty Hit label in the last year would know that virtually everything they touch is turning into gold. Their roster includes The 1975, whose epic second album ‘I love it when you sleep…’ they released last year; The Japanese House, now one of the hottest new prospects in the game; and Superfood, who recently made a stonking comeback. Any sign of new music coming from Dirty Hit gets anyone in the know just a little bit giddy.

Their latest signings are Manchester indie-pop newbies Pale Waves, and they dropped their massive first single in late 2017  ‘There’s A Honey’ – which features production by George and Matty of The 1975. As expected, the song’s subject matter is strikingly intimate and relatable (“I would give you my body, but am I sure that you want me?“), but is packaged into a chorus that’s so catchy, you wonder how it hasn’t been written before.

 

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The alt-pop band’s new video is a beautiful, “uncomfortable, voyeuristic experience,” the track is taken from their forthcoming New Year’s Eve EP.

Pale Waves new video for ‘My Obsession’, and drenched in gloom, it’s a shadowy visual fitting the song’s plunge into infatuation. The video shows the band’s Heather in the bath with a mannequin – as you do – and to be honest the whole thing is creepy as fuck. “I wanted to create an uncomfortable, voyeuristic experience for the viewer,” she said. “To make them feel they are intruding on a world they shouldn’t be a part of. Ultimately, it is a representation of desperation, loneliness and grief.”

Pale Waves tickets

New Manchester band Pale Waves have been taking the wold by storm. Critics have been awed by their new single Television Romance’. “A shimmering, summer-tinged indie banger – one that will no doubt end up filling venues up and down the country when their next tour is announced.”

Dirty Hit, the record label founded by The 1975’s manager, Jamie Oborne, as a vehicle for the band he discovered as Cheshire teenagers. Now it’s home to some of the UK’s most exciting bands, from the established, such as Wolf Alice, to rising stars such as The Japanese House – whose ‘Pools To Bathe In’ EP was produced by 1975 frontman Matty Healy and drummer George Daniel – and new signing No Rome. There’s a particular up-and-coming band that Healy has really taken under his wing, taking them on tour in the States, co-producing their first two singles and directing the video for the second, ‘Television Romance’ – and that band is Pale Waves.

They are about to launch a headline tour. Catch them at The Cellar Bar in Oxford, The Cookie at Leicester and Bristol Thekla during Feb/March 2018.


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