“They’re like a female 1975” I hear echoing around the smoking area; the same shallow comparison I’ve heard thrown frequently towards Pale Waves. After signing to Dirty Hit and working closely in the studio with Matty Healy, the Manchester four-piece seem to have become inescapably synonymous with their labelmates and mentors. Although this is an easy accusation, it’s not entirely justified. At their sold-out show at Chapel, Pale Waves prove themselves to be artists in their own right, showcasing shining potential and flaunting a captivating energy that is rare to find.
Support came from Our Girl, who quickly warmed the snow-swept crowd with their effortless charm. The Brighton trio are simply a delight; drummer Lauren Wilson takes center stage, with frontwoman Soph Nathan and bassist Josh Tyler delivering intoxicating hooks either side. There’s no glimmer of pretension in the slightest, just pure talent and refreshing originality. Soph’s vocals purr over her fierce guitar hooks with graceful temper, as she effortlessly commands the stage with roofless allure. In a right world, it would be Our Girl headlining this sold-out tour.
Anticipation for Pale Waves built to an overwhelming degree, to the point where pockets of the crowd screamed every time a strobe light flickered. Their devoted fan-base plays testimony to how delectable Pale Waves’ indie-pop is, epitomised by the crowd shamelessly singing “you’re my favourite obsession” back at frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie during syrupy single ‘My Obsession’.
Upon first-listen, Pale Waves’ tracks seem almost indistinguishable from each other, yet they’re delivered with a confidence that just demands them to be streamed on repeat. Only through this shameless repetition do you start to appreciate the intricacies of each individual track and realise that Pale Waves are much more than their comparisons. However, if your first taste of Pale Waves was at their show, you’d struggle to differentiate one glittery angst anthem from the other.
Either way, it’s undeniable that they harbor endless potential. Heather’s stage presence is completely enamouring, and once you shed all preconception and pretention, it’s easy to fall in love with Pale Waves.
Words and featured image by Meg Firth