Pale Waves' Heather Baron-Gracie: "This album is a journey through my emotional growth as a person across the past year"

Pale Waves
(Image credit: Niall Lea)

Don’t let their mercilessly over-the-top, crusty goth-punk shell steer you off – Pale Waves are all about spreading good vibes, bold and buoyant pop-rock jams and memories that’ll last a lifetime. Like their mentors, the fellow Dirty Hit upstarts and binary-bending deviants in The 1975, the aesthetic-heavy quartet first chiselled out a passionate UK following – and now, on the cusp of releasing their second album, are ready to make one hell of a splash on the international scene. That album in question is the aptly experiential Who Am I? – a piercingly peppery set of chords, keys and quips that’ll stick to your brain like gum in freshly washed hair.

The band declare Who Am I? to stand as the official Pale Waves manifesto, “inspiring inclusivity, self-discovery, and the notion of being whoever the hell you want to be.” And as its grungy, washed-out cover art would imply, the record sounds like a freshly unearthed relic from the peak of emo-pop circa 2006. Which makes sense – as frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie tells Australian Guitar, she and her bandmates were bitten quite hard by the nostalgia bug when it came to bashing out these bangers.

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…