Pale Waves | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Pale Waves performing during the Oil & Water Live, US & Canada Leg 2024 Tour at Emo's Austin in Austin, Texas on July 6, 2024, with Heather Baron-Gracie, Ciara Doran, Hugo Silvani, and Charlie Wood. (Photo: Ralph Arvesen)

Fueled by the sounds of 80s and 90s bands like Cocteau Twins and the Cranberries, Pale Waves emerged in 2014. The band started as a songwriting duo between drummer Ciara Doran and vocalist/songwriter Heather Baron-Gracie, who met at a liquor store and quickly bonded. After crafting songs together, they recruited bassist Charlie Wood and guitarist Hugo Silvani to flesh out their sound.

Their initial music leaned heavily on guitars and dream pop influences, but with a darker edge. Uploading demos online in 2015, they caught the attention of indie label Dirty Hit. Signed in 2017, Pale Waves released their debut single "There's a Honey," produced by members of labelmates The 1975. "Television Romance" followed, building momentum before their first EP, "All the Things I Never Said," arrived in February 2018.

Expanding their reach, Pale Waves inked a deal with Interscope Records for U.S. releases and dropped the single "Kiss" to promote their full-length debut, "My Mind Makes Noises." Released in September 2018, the album charted well in the UK, reaching number eight.

Continuing their creative flow, Pale Waves collaborated with singer/songwriter Lawrence Rothman on "SkinDeepSkyHighHeartWide" for the horror film "The Turning" in early 2020. They returned later that year with their sophomore album, "Who Am I?" The album proved even more successful than their debut, peaking at number three in the UK. Hot on its heels came their third studio album, "Unwanted," in 2022.
Fan reviews:

Amazing! Enjoyed every bit of it! Let me just say I love Pale Waves and was so excited to see them live! They put on a great performance, Heather is so sweet and funny and really knows how to connect with the audience! How many artists do you know will actually converse with the audience as they’re on stage? That was so awesome! Can’t wait to see Pale Waves again! They’re amazing!

New favorite band! They were so good! Better than the headliner. I will be seeing them next time they are in the area!

I got the amazing opportunity to see Pale Waves live and I’ll never forget it. The energy was lively, they actually wanted to be there! Meeting them was an even greater experience, the four were so nice even after playing a show!

Always amazing! Pale Waves is always a good show. The amount of energy and emotion the whole band has when performing is unlike any other band I’ve seen in a long time. I have seen them now three times and they get better each time.
Setlist for the show at Emo's Austin
  • Lies
  • You're So Vain
  • Television Romance
  • Eighteen
  • Perfume
  • Unwanted
  • She's My Religion
  • There's a Honey
  • Jealousy

Pale Waves shared the stage with PVRIS and Bruses at Emo's Austin. They continue across the United States, Europe, and Asia with the last stop at the Toyosu PIT in Tokyo, Japan on December 10, 2024.

Pale Waves
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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