Words matter. On Pale Waves’ second album the Mancunian quartet address a number of issues society keeps an open discourse on – sexuality, gender, mental health – as seen filtered the experiences of their driving force Heather Baron-Gracie.
This extra gravity comes after two life-changing events between now and their debut, 2018’s My Mind Makes Noises. Firstly three of them were involved in a near-fatal coach crash whilst on tour, an accident Baron-Gracie avoided having already flown ahead, whilst more recently she’s publicly come out, a decision which has also had a direct impact on her songwriting.
Sometimes though best intentions can cause a conflict, one which the album’s title reveals; it’s a question, not a declarative statement, a mid-point in which nothing is as settled as the person singing on You Don’t Own Me, the title track or Tomorrow might believe. This dichotomy is shown up further by the rest of Who Am I‘s pop leanings, a strength that to their credit the band have chosen not to riskily shred. Perhaps the answers – and Who I Am – is coming, until then, the shades of grey here are a perfectly fine interim destination.
You can read the full review here.