Showing both sonic and lyrical growth from their first EP, Pale Waves’ debut album ‘My Mind Makes Noises’ is filled to the brim with hooky pop choruses centred around that well-trodden songwriting topic of falling in and out of love. But while it’s hardly new subject matter, from the first glossy synth-pop chorus of album opener ‘Eighteen’, it’s clear this is a band keen to subvert your expectations.
‘Drive’ is a stomping electropop wonder whereas ‘Red’ has a thumping europop-esque chorus that reaches dizzying heights. Even on some of the album’s slower tracks, that pop underpinning remains. ‘When Did I Lose It All’ is a ballad lamenting a lost love over twinkling synths whereas the winding slow-burning synths of ‘She’ seem borrowed from early-producers The 1975.
But though many of their songs are gloriously upbeat, they’re tinged with sadness: of love, loss, betrayal and longing. For all their goth rock exterior, ‘My Mind Makes Noises’ is ultimately a pop record with substance at its core.