Pale Waves – “Who Am I?” Album Review




Super-hyped Manchester quartet Pale Waves have released their second Long Player out on Dirty Hit on 12 February 2021


Pale Waves are Heather Baron-Gracie (vocals/guitarist), Ciara Doran (drummer), Hugo Silvani (guitarist) and Charlie Wood (bassist).

As I hit the play button on my music player, one question kept popping into my mind; was this going to be that difficult second album, after the huge success of the first release, “My Mind Makes Noises”? The pressure was on. Well, time will tell, and the process of recording this record was no easy feat in itself.

Who Am I? was recorded in Los Angeles with the help of producer Rich Costey (Muse, Foo Fighters) before and during the Lockdown, meaning they all had to do it virtually and in different countries at times, a true Lockdown record indeed.



The record kicks off with “Change”, then “Fall to Pieces” and “My Religion” and it strikes me quite quickly that lyrically this record is a lot more about self-reflection, personal awakenings, the struggles of relationships, sexuality, depression and learning to becoming confident in your own skin. It really is a coming-of-age record.



Whereas the first album had more of a nod to bands such as The Cure, Prince, Madonna and maybe even a little of The Bangles thrown in for good measure, this record embraces a bigger, fuller sound and sits more with turn-of-the millennium pop-rock. Think Avril Lavigne, Paramore, but more indie. Lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie’s voice is a sweet melting mixture of Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan and Taylor Swift or that’s what it sounds like to me! What does this mean?? Well, it means that Pale Waves serve up a shimming blend of emo pop, packed with catchy melodies and soaring anthemic choruses and to be quite frank, its very, very good.



Review by Desh Kapur