Pale Waves really want to make you cry. Speaking to NME last year, singer Heather Baron-Gracie recalled something that drummer Ciara Doran had said when the band first started out. “She said, ‘I want to make people dance at our shows and not kinda just cry: they can cry and dance.’” They got us dancing; now it’s time to turn the waterworks on.
The release comes after a pretty marvellous 2017 for the Manchester group. They released first single ‘There’s A Honey’ last February, played New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden with labelmates The 1975 in June and bagged their first NME cover last October. In that time only one new song came out, the indie-pop belter ‘Television Romance’. Now, to keep things ticking over until their debut album, the group have paired a couple of recent singles with some re-recorded bangers to make a vivid 15-minute scrapbook of their journey thus far.
‘The Tide’, for example, was originally released as a demo in mid-2015 and though it’s been given a shiny makeover, it retains its naïve charm: “You look so cool, standing there /With your baggy jeans and silky hair / We can live for nothing / Baby, I don’t care”. EP closer ‘Heavenly’ also dates back to that period and there’ve been a few production tweaks here to make it trimmer and punchier.
This isn’t just a nostalgia exercise, mind: their more recent singles have pushed the band’s sound into daring new ground. Festive heartbreaker ‘New Year’s Eve’ sees Baron-Gracie refine her knack for wistful choruses to scream along to on your best pals’ shoulders (“I don’t wanna be alone on New Year’s Eve / Do you even wanna be with me?”), while ‘My Obsession’ is a totes emosh rock ballad that would sound at home on the soundtrack to any of John Hughes’ ’80s coming-of-age flicks.
‘All The Things I Never Said’ has prompted the first tear to roll down the cheek, then, so catch us bawling our eyes out by debut album time.