PALE WAVES have released their new single, YOU DON’T OWN ME, taken from the band’s forthcoming second album WHO AM I? set for release on 12 February via Dirty Hit.
“You Don’t Own Me is a song for women about what it’s like to be a woman in this world. How society depicts, judges and criticises women on a daily basis,” says frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie. “This song is incredibly important to me and I wanted to represent my own experiences. I also wanted to say a big fuck you to everyone that plays by these fake delusional rules that women and gender need to fit inside a specific box.”
YOU DON’T OWN ME follows on from EASY, the band’s first single of 2021, premiered on the Annie Mac BBC Radio 1 show as a Hottest Record and accompanied by an official video that drew influence from Gothic-Romantics and Tim Burton. In late 2020, PALE WAVES had returned with their comeback single CHANGE and SHE’S MY RELIGION, another deeply personal single for Heather, who wanted to represent a same-sex relationship between two women in its true form, without hiding behind the clichés of over-sexualisation or playful experimentation.
WHO AM I? was recorded primarily in Los Angeles alongside producer RICH COSTEY [Muse, Sigur Rós, Foo Fighters] before the Coronavirus lockdown forced the making of the album to go virtual, with Heather and Ciara remaining in LA and the rest of the band returning home to record their parts in their bedrooms.
The album acts as the Pale Waves manifesto, inspiring inclusivity, self-discovery and the notion of being whoever the hell you want to be. On the making of the album, Heather says: “For me, music and art is for people not to feel so alone and isolated; I want to be that person my fans look up to and find comfort in”.
Consisting of front woman HEATHER BARON-GRACIE [she/her] drummer CIARA DORAN [they/them] guitarist HUGO SILVANI [he/him) and bassist CHARLIE WOOD [he/him] Pale Waves released their debut album MY MIND MAKES NOISES in September 2018, by which time they had already won the NME Under the Radar award, made the BBC Sound of 2018 shortlist and toured with fellow Dirty Hit label mates and mentors the 1975. When the album chart at #8 in the UK, PALE WAVES were seen as more than a breakthrough act and instead one of the most important emerging indie-pop bands in Britain.
On WHO AM I? Heather Baron-Gracie’s songwriting holds the last few years of her life up to the light, reflecting on her own growing pains – depression, distraction and feelings of darkness. But also, her experience of falling in love and emerging with a clarity and optimism – being more open about her sexuality and stepping forward as the sort of front woman she couldn’t see when she was growing up.