“It was pretty surreal!” says Pale Waves lead singer and former BIMM student, Heather Baron-Gracie, after recalling the time her band walked out to thousands of fans at Madison Square Garden.
Heather – who was being interviewed backstage at Reading Festival – had played the iconic New York venue after being asked to support fellow Mancunians and their Dirty Hit labelmates, The 1975.
Fast-forward several months and Heather – who is currently on a huge UK and European tour – is back in the NME after an interview with The 1975’s frontman, Matt Healy, at Dirty Hit’s West London HQ.
Aside from being a massive fan of Pale Waves, Matt actually co-produced the band’s fantastic debut single ‘There’s A Honey’ and follow-up track ‘Television Romance’, alongside fellow 1975 band member George Daniel. Matt said:
“I was just so excited to hear a band that was positioned to the left, an alternative band, that was so in tune with pop sensibilities,” says Healy, whose high praise echoes that of several other major music magazines. “It kind of reminded me of The Cure or The Primitives or bands like that – it’s the happy/sad thing loads of bands have thrived on… There’s a naivety and a purity to them and an honesty to them.”
So, will they be recruiting Matt for the album? In an earlier interview, Heather had kept tight-lipped. Nothing is concrete this time around, but she has opened up about the theme of the trail-blazing band’s debut LP, which is still a way off, as she told the NME’s, Dan Stubbs:
“With the album, I think we’re just going to show another side to us which is a lot more emotional and not as – I don’t know how to put it… Just, like, a bit more intense.”
From our perspective, it’s fantastic to see two BIMM alumni playing in front of massive crowds across European cities like Berlin, Cologne, Paris and Amsterdam. Glittering reviews have been flying in, and the band have gained a cult following here in Manchester. Recalling the first time he heard Heather Baron-Gracie and Ciara Doran’s band, Pale Waves, (former) BIMM Manchester Music Business tutor and MD of the renowned Ask Me PR, Liam Walsh, said:
“Heather and Ciara would come for tutorials together and play me their tracks. I was so impressed that when label and publishing A&R contacts would ask me for recommendations of new unsigned artist or bands, they were top of my list. It’s great to see how well they are doing; they really stood out.”
Pale Waves are an inspiration to all of our BIMM students and follow in the footsteps of our illustrious alumni of successful bands and established artists – James Bay, George Ezra, Tom Odell and Izzy Bizu.
We can’t wait to see what the rest of 2017 brings for this ambitious four-piece.