My Mind Makes Noises

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(Dirty Hit)

“What do you see when you look at me?” asks Heather Baron-Gra­cie on the Manch­ester quar­tet Pale Waves’s de­but sin­gle, There’s a Honey. That’s easy: a re­s­plen­dent, clas­sic goth. Were she to ask, though, “What do you hear when you lis­ten to me?”, the an­swer would be, con­fus­ingly: per­fect mil­len­nial pop.

Pale Waves’s black-clad cen­tral song­writ­ing duo, Baron-Gra­cie and Ciara Doran, are perhaps the apoth­e­o­sis of the death of mu­si­cal tribes among dig­i­tal na­tives. There are flour­ishes of pop Cure on the likes of Kiss, which doffs its cap to Just Like Heaven, but most tracks here could grace Tay­lor Swift’s 1989. Their big­gest sin­gle, Tele­vi­sion Ro­mance, re­mains mon­strously ad­dic­tive, all glis­ten­ing 80s pop mus­cle and dead­pan de­liv­ery, but there’s plenty to match it, from the crisp synths and young-love rush of Eigh­teen to Love­less Girl’s dry jabs at an old flame: “You al­ways said I was too cold/ Only with you, though”.

They’ll prob­a­bly be the last, fol­low­ing their US twin band Muna and their la­bel­mates the 1975, to get away with this pro­duc­tion sound, and 14 tracks stretches the hooks a lit­tle thin, but My Mind Makes Noises boasts pop craft to ri­val big-money pro­duc­tion teams, and much bet­ter eye­liner to boot. Emily Mackay

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