PALE WAVES make their hotly anticipated return with news of their fourth album Smitten, to be released on 20 September. The band have also shared Perfume, the lead single from the album, premiered as the BBC Radio 1 Hottest Record.

Pre-order / Pre-save Smitten here:

Written between the US and UK over a two year period, Smitten finds the band reflecting upon their Northern roots. Deviating from the rebellious pop punk sound of 2022 album Unwanted, this new record is full of vivid, earwormy hooks, thwacking snares and jangly alt-pop that sounds fresh out of their home city Manchester.

Lyrically, the record is preoccupied with past lives – some more recent than others. Singer Heather Baron-Gracie found herself in a headspace where she could finally breathe and reflect, like peeling through the pages of a long-forgotten teenage diary and being surprised by what she found.

I found myself writing about not just a certain time period, but my whole life from years ago,” says Heather. “When I fall in love, I fall deep, and it’s interesting to me that you can feel so fascinated and smitten with someone and then they can become a total stranger. So I feel like Smitten really summarised perfectly what I felt for others at a certain point.

So much of Smitten captures the excitement and euphoria of early queer relationships, some of which comes alongside confusion and pain. On lead single Perfume, an infectious 1980s-leaning anthem reminiscent of bands like The Cure and The Cranberries, Heather sings about being totally enamoured with a person: “My mother says that when I want something I never let go / Call me obsessed but I don’t mind just as long as it’s all mine”.

Speaking about Perfume, Heather says: “It’s the perfect introduction into the new world we’ve created. It’s queer, it’s feminine and it’s romantic, and it encapsulates the essence of Smitten.”

Pale Waves are currently on the road in the US on a full tour support with PVRIS. The band will return to the UK for a handful of festival performances at Y Not, Kendal Calling and Neighbourhood.



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