Pale Waves may only have two singles to their name thus far, 'There’s A Honey' and 'Television Romance', but the Manchester four-piece - comprising of bassist Charlie Wood, drummer Ciara Doran, vocalist Heather Baron-Gracie, and guitarist Hugo Silvani - are fast making good on their declaration (from our January interview) that "2017 will be a good year for us." And that it has. From announcing their own headlining tour and performing at Reading & Leeds, to opening for The 1975 at Madison Square Garden and all throughout America and Europe, with George Daniel and Matty Healy collaborating on production duties and Healy having directed an upcoming music video, words such as 'extraordinary' and 'phenomenal' are perhaps better suited to describe the past eight months for the Dirty Hit signed band.
While in New York earlier this year, we caught up with Pale Waves to discuss important matters of the heart and future happenings, with the band’s Heather and Ciara telepathically finishing each other’s sentences in an incomparably heartwarming show of friendship (which also personifies their prodigiously in sync musical partnership as songwriting cohorts).
...when you love someone, they’re in you... they’re always there. You can’t escape from them so they’re just constantly there... they’re your person.
COUP DE MAIN: Congrats on nearly two million plays on Spotify with 'There's A Honey'!
HEATHER BARON-GRACIE: Thank you!
CIARA DORAN: It’s amazing.
CDM: Why did you decide upon that song as your official debut single?
HEATHER: Well, we actually had two in mind that--
CIARA: It wasn’t actually what we thought we were going to release first.
HEATHER: No, and then it kind of came to life in the studio and we were all just kind of blown away by it so we thought, ‘It needs to be this one.’
CIARA: It kind of developed into something that really represented us as people.
HEATHER: Especially as the first kind of thing that anyone was going to hear.
CIARA: We connected to that song the most at that time.
CDM: The opening-line, "Live in my heart if you want to," is super relatable. As is the pre-chorus, "I would give you my body / But I’m not sure that you want me." Is it important to you to write honest from-the-heart lyrics?
HEATHER: Yeah, I always try to be as honest as I can be, because if not then I’m just going to end up hating the song eventually.
CDM: And then you have to play it every night.
CIARA: It’s a vicious cycle, if it happens.
HEATHER: Yeah, it is.
CDM: What was it like working with The 1975’s George Daniel and Matty Healy on 'There's A Honey'?
HEATHER: It was really great. We really look up to them and respect them as artists and producers, so it was just amazing to get them involved and get them on board with it.
CIARA: They kind of took on a sound that we would want them to do anyway - if we have something in our heads, we don’t even have to tell them.
HEATHER: They just do it! It’s crazy.
CIARA: Yeah, it’s so weird. <laughs>
CDM: Before 'There's A Honey' was released, you deleted old demos for 'The Tide' and 'Heavenly' from your online profiles. Did you want a clean slate for the single?
HEATHER: Yeah, they were demos. We only put them up when we were just kind of--
CIARA: You can’t do an official release when you’re not signed. If you’re a new band, you need to put demos out to kind of get attention, and that’s--
HEATHER: That’s what we did, yeah.
CIARA: So that’s how we’ve treated it. Those songs got us attention and then we went on to write-- we wrote better songs after that.
HEATHER: We wanted to take them down because they were demos at the end of the day.
CIARA: And we wanted to make the first release just about 'There’s A Honey'.
CDM: The original lyrics for 'Heavenly' started off with the line, "Honey you got me like the sunset view," but you’ve now changed the opening of the song to instead be super sassy ("This night is electric / And you’re being pathetic"), and it’s lyrically a very different song now. Why did you decide to keep the original chorus but write a new song around it?
HEATHER: <laughs> Because kind of everything else except the chorus didn’t really mean much to me.
CIARA: It didn’t resonate with her anymore in that way.
HEATHER: So I was like, ‘I need to change the lyrics or I don’t want to play it anymore.’
CIARA: So that’s a lesson for Heather! That’s why she only writes stuff that means something to her because it’s like--
HEATHER: My experience!
CIARA: Everyone was like, "Why are you not playing 'The Tide' or 'Heavenly'?" Well, how do you expect Heather to sing lyrics that just don’t mean anything to her anymore? She wants to tell people stories and I guess that ‘Heavenly’ now, makes sense to her in a way.
CDM: Older songs like 'The Tide' and the original version of 'Heavenly' are lyrically a bit more naive about love than the songs you’re currently playing on tour like 'Kiss' and 'New Year’s Eve'. Is this lyrical growth auto-biographical?
HEATHER: Yeah exactly. They were a lot less personal and kind of very just not important - metaphors just kind of thrown in there just to fill space, when I don’t need to be doing that. I need to just be honest.
CIARA: Creating something that actually leaves a trail, and not just creating for the sake of it and doing it for a release.
CDM: What was running through your mind while writing 'Television Romance'?
HEATHER: Running through my mind? It’s a concept... It’s about a night, but I don’t want to go into too much detail.
CIARA: It’s about a night and a collection of memories and views on the world that Heather thought of, I guess. It’s about a night, but also staggered in her life.
HEATHER: It’s quite confusing.
HOW WE FEEL ABOUT THE RELEASE OF 'TELEVISION ROMANCE'...
CDM: In 'My Obsession', Heather you sing, "You'll always be my favourite obsession." Do you think that obsession equates to love? Or are they two very different emotions?
HEATHER: No, I think it can definitely be kind of-- I don’t know how to explain it really. It’s a hard one, ‘My Obsession’, it’s very romantic and desperate.
CIARA: It’s your favourite one, isn’t it?
HEATHER: Yeah, it’s my favourite song and I love performing it.
CIARA: It’s so fun to perform.
HEATHER: I don’t know... It’s just a very desperate song.
CDM: You also sing, "Such a mess, but you’re always beautiful to me." Does love make people see flaws in relationships with rose-tinted glasses?
HEATHER: Definitely. And I reckon you begin to love their flaws.
CIARA: Yeah it’s hard when you’re in a relationship because you see bad things in them, but you still end up loving things about them.
HEATHER: You love them and you love that about them.
CIARA: Yeah, that’s what the line means. That you’ll take on anything that they have.
CDM: Heather, you refer to the subject of your songs living inside your "head" ('Kiss') and also your "heart" ('There’s A Honey') - what is it that you like about that lyrical imagery of a romantic partner coexisting within you?
CIARA: That is such a good way to put it!
HEATHER: I know!
CIARA: Like, when you love someone, they’re in you.
HEATHER: Do you know what I mean? They’re in you, they’re always there. You can’t escape from them so they’re just constantly there.
CIARA: They’re your person. They’re within you, and you’re within them.
CDM: In 'New Year’s Eve' you sing, "I tried to make a good impression but I failed again." Do you think one of the hardest things about relationships is having to coexist not only with your partner, but also their friends and family too?
HEATHER: Definitely. You’ve done your research, haven’t you?
CIARA: I love how you know the lyrics. It’s so good.
HEATHER: It’s nice to actually talk about something else that’s not ‘There’s A Honey’.
CDM: But, do you like surfing? And why are your waves pale?
CIARA & HEATHER: Yeah! <laughs>
HEATHER: I agree with what you just said - it’s not just making an impression on that one person, it’s everyone who is associated with them as well and who has a relationship with them that you want to impress and get along with. And sometimes it’s doesn’t always happen, because you’re a fool.
CDM: Your manager Jamie Oborne has said via Twitter that you’ll be releasing an album next year... So what can you tell us about the album at this point in time?
CIARA: I can tell you that when we read that we were like, ‘What?!’
HEATHER: I was like, ‘Guys! Look at this!’
CIARA: But I guess it’s quite exciting.
HEATHER: We’re writing at the moment.
CIARA: We’ve really got some work to do.
HEATHER: We really do.
CDM: Will you be releasing an EP before the album?
CIARA: We really want to. We want to release a body of work before we do an album.
HEATHER: We don’t want to just want to do singles and then an album.
CDM: Have you worked with George and Matty on more songs?
HEATHER: Yeah, they have a lot of our songs.
CIARA: We’ve recorded loads of songs, and they’ve got them all. It’s just [a matter of] when they’re free.
HEATHER: Because they’re obviously so busy, but how they produce is just perfect for us!
CDM: Lorde recently put 'There's A Honey' on her Spotify playlist, and you ended up being played on the news in New Zealand during primetime TV! When are you going to come and visit us in NZ?
HEATHER: Really?! That’s crazy.
CIARA: Hopefully soon, because that would be amazing to go there!
MY FAVOURITE THING ABOUT CIARA IS...
MY FAVOURITE THING ABOUT CHARLIE IS...
MY FAVOURITE THING ABOUT HEATHER IS...
MY FAVOURITE THING ABOUT HUGO IS...
Pale Waves’ new single 'Television Romance' is out now - click here to purchase via iTunes.
Watch Pale Waves’ music video for 'There’s A Honey' below...