Pale Waves sophomore album, Who Am I? is finally out and you’ll definitely want to catch this wave! Helping fans create a safe space for themselves, this follow-up album to their debut, My Mind Makes Noises, is the turning of a new page for the band. Acting as a declaration for inspiration to find yourself and be whoever you want to be, this album touches on many topics people face while growing up and finding themselves, like falling in love, finding your sexuality, and mental health.
“Hey, life is going well
Except my mental health“
– ‘Run To’ by Pale Waves
With relatable lyrics and danceable vibes, Pale Waves made an amazing coming of age album that will make anyone feel like they are back at that stage of self-discovery, and if you aren’t there, the album talks about that too, with the title track, ´Who Am I?´ that offers a slow, scream-worthy song to soundtrack all your emotion-filled moments.
“Who am I?
I need a sign
Does anybody know
How do I live a life
Where I don’t feel this low, this low?
Does anybody know?”
– “Who Am I?” By Pale Waves
With a sound that encompasses many genres, the album not only slightly changes their sound from earlier projects, but also their perspective.
How do you think your perspective has changed from your first album to your second album?– Heather Baron-Gracie
I think it’s changed in many ways. My perspective on me, myself – I used to resent parts of me, whereas now I’ve really sort of grown into those parts and I’ve accepted them a lot more than I used to. I’ve also changed my perspective on my sexuality. I’ve become a lot more comfortable and open about it. I think I’ve also changed my perspective on figuring out what’s healthy for me in terms of lifestyle. You know, making sure that I’m looking after me first and making sure that I’m okay. On the first album, I would push myself endlessly and wouldn’t take a minute to just cool down and figure out how I felt – like, “Oh, actually, you need to just take a second to just go to sleep”. In terms of self-care, it’s changed quite drastically. I’ve grown up. I’ve started to think about my future, where I want to buy a house and stuff. On the first album I was just like “Party! Give me the champagne!”
You may also hear some familiar inspirations on the tracklist of Who Am I? as Heather was inspired by the music she listened to as she grew up, which leads the album to have an alternative pop-rock from the 90s sound.
When asked about other musical inspirations on the album, Heather, Pales Waves’ frontwoman, mentions also taking aspects from some of our country favorites like The Chicks and Kacey Musgraves, that you can definitely hear in some of the melodies as well as some 2000s era alt-pop classics like Avril Lavigne and Hole.
What made you decide to shift your sound from 80s inspired to 90s inspired? Do the lyrics and topics you’re touching upon with Who Am I? have any influence on the direction you took with the sound of this album?– Heather Baron-Gracie
I wouldn’t say songwriting itself changed the sound of the album, it was just really natural for me to write more of an alternative album. I had a bit more of the creative control on the second album and I love alternative music. I love guitars. So, naturally, I just drifted towards the album that I wanted to make. And that was a 90s, 2000s sounding album.
What other artists do you find the most inspiring when making your own music? What instances in Who Am I? do you allude to these inspirations but still maintain your own unique sound?– Heather Baron-Gracie
I think there’s definitely a hint of country music like Kacey Musgraves and The Chicks, formerly known as The Dixie Chicks. I think you can hear that through the melodic side of this record and the vocal melodies throughout the songwriting. There’s a lot of songs that – if you stripped away the instrumentation, gave me my acoustic guitar, and I wrote more of a jangling, country guitar part – I think you would really hear the influence of how much I was listening to country music at the time.
Answering questions to cause self-reflection and deep thought, the title track really ties together the themes of the whole album, and you can really see the connection of the themes throughout each track on Who Am I?.
With the title Who Am I? it seems like you are trying to answer questions about yourselves, what instances do we hear these questions answered? How do the songs reflect that question as a whole?– Heather Baron-Gracie
I think a good example on this record – in terms of figuring out who I am and figuring out that I do want to be a better person and I want to grow into a better version of who I was two years ago – is “I Just Needed You.” That song is basically me rewiring and adjusting my perspective on what is going to bring me happiness. I was doing a lot of things that would bring me temporary happiness, and then when that faded out, or when I got bored of it, I was like, “that’s not actually brought me sustainable happiness”. I realized that I didn’t need all those things to try and make me happy. I had to really dive into me and work on myself and not distract myself with materialistic things.
Pale Wave’s latest single, ‘Fall to Pieces,’ shows this theme but from the perspective of a relationship that’s on the rocks. With lyrics mentioning how it’s about us, not just me, and how they’re trying so hard to mend things. With ‘Fall to Pieces’ offering a look at Heather’s earlier relationship insecurities, the video shows her reflecting on her relationship and wondering if they’re going to make it, with some amazing shots of the band jamming out, of course. And we’re warning you right now, this tune will be on repeat after you listen to it – it’s just that good.
“How long ’til we fall to pieces?
It’s too much to take
Are we about to break?“
– ‘Fall to Pieces’ by Pale Waves
We’re so excited for this era of Pale Waves and can not wait to see what achievements this new album makes! What song is your favorite so far off of Who Am I? What’s your favorite part of this new era? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us over @TheHoneyPOP!
Check out these other incredible articles on your faves!
Featured Image Source: Tom Pullen