Single Review: ‘Change’ by Pale Waves

Rebecca Alexander reviews the latest single from indie-pop group Pale Waves.

Rebecca Alexander
19th November 2020
Marking Pale Waves’ first release since 2018, ‘Change’ reacquaints listeners with that trademark indie-pop sound that has helped the band reach deserving success. Released on 11th November, the new single puts the Manchester four-piece in great stead for the release of their widely-anticipated second album, Who Am I?, in February 2021.

Although perhaps more subtle than in previous singles, Heather Baron-Gracie’s unique vocal style remains just as powerful when paired with her strikingly honest lyrics. While just a quick listen to older hits like ‘There’s a Honey’ or ‘Eighteen’ show Baron-Gracie lyrically voice her own personal anxieties and insecurities, ‘Change’ takes this that one step further. In conversations surrounding the upcoming album, Baron-Gracie admits to newly embracing a sense of vulnerability in her song writing – something which is certainly identifiable with this first glimpse into a revitalised Pale Waves.

Confronting what seems to be the breakdown of a turbulent romantic relationship, the song’s lyrics speak of on all-too-relatable feeling of frustration at another’s behaviour, bitterly laced with a nostalgic nuance. Yet, like much of the material on the band’s debut album My Mind Makes Noises, the dark lyrics, in an almost The Cure-like manner, are sung over an upbeat melody and cheery pop-song-like chorus. Complimented by the inclusivity inherent in the band’s decision to use gender-neutral pronouns in their music, ‘Change’ is a catchy tune fit to soundtrack any mood or situation – it’s one to dance to, sing to, but, also, even one to cry to (if you prefer).

‘Change’ is a catchy tune fit to soundtrack any mood or situation – it’s one to dance to, sing to, but, also, even one to cry to (if you prefer)

Visually illustrated in the single’s music video, with the contrasting interspersion of the band’s heavy-eyelined, gothic aesthetic alongside shots of blooming flowers, it is likely that we can expect a real sense of growth from the quartet’s upcoming material. However, crucially and thankfully, this appears to be a growth that preserves the Pale Waves features we’ve come to both recognise and admire.  

(4/5)

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