EP Review: Pale Waves – All The Things I Never Said

Despite the edgy look of the band and album cover, sweet lyrics and shimmering guitar riffs blend to create bittersweet love songs on Pale Waves‘ debut indie pop EP, All The Things I Never Said. Released on February 19, the EP has already pulled plenty of positive attention toward Pale Waves, who is currently gearing up for a US tour and playing at South By Southwest–stopping in Columbus on April 10 at Skully’s Music Diner.

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The band’s ’80s influence is clear: golden melodies make the dark, dreamy indie pop accessible, sticking in your head long after the song is over, and metallic guitar adds a thick, glamorous rock quality to the music. It’s vaguely reminiscent of bands like The 1975 and Against The Current, complete with just a touch of heartache in the bittersweet progressions.

That ache comes out in both lyrics and in the sound itself; even when it’s upbeat, “New Year’s Eve” has a tinge of melancholy, aided by lyrics like, “I don’t wanna be alone on New Year’s Eve/You’re the best thing that’s happened to me.” On the other hand, “My Obsession” is closer to an indie rock ballad, complete with a gauzier sound and equally intense love-sick words (“And I swear that I’ll never stop loving you/And I’ll die by your side if you want me to”).

Otherwise, the EP is glimmering and full. The rhythm section is tight and the production is smooth and feels effortless, and for a first release, All The Things I Never Said is surprisingly confident.

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Photo by Danny North.

Simply put, Pale Waves’ debut EP is comprised of smooth, pretty synth-pop. The four tracks are love songs, yes, but there’s something aching buried beneath anyway. With jangly pop melodies and just a touch of heartbreak, it’s just layered enough to leave you hungry for their upcoming full-length.

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