Pale Waves bring infectious hooks to Fonda Theatre

I first caught UK indie-rock group Pale Waves at SXSW this year inside a dingy bar and was immediately blown away by their contrast of upbeat melodies and melancholy songwriting.

Thursday night the four-piece headlined the Fonda Theatre to a raucous and supportive crowd. I was surprised how many people knew all the words to most of the songs off their debut record. My Mind Makes Noises dropped only in September but it’s chockfull of catchy pop bangers.

They were a band I made sure to catch at Outside Lands this year despite an early set time. Their melodies got stuck in my head instantly. Singer and guitarist Heather Baron-Gracie has a unique vocal style.

The standout song of the night to me was “There’s a Honey” — the longing of Baron-Gracie singing “I would give you my body / But I’m not sure that you want me / I’m not sure that you want me” is startlingly candid.

I expect this band to be heavily featured on the 2019 music festival circuit and look forward to catching them again and again.

Photos by Justin Higuchi