Who: Pale Waves

Hometown: Manchester

Line-up: Heather Baron-Gracie (vocals, guitar), Ciara Doran (drums), Hugo Silvani (guitar), Charlie Wood (bassist)

Why we’re crushing hard:

From the moment we hit play on Pale Waves’ SoundCloud a handful of years ago, it was love on first listen. Founding members Heather Baron-Gracie and Ciara Doran describe their sound as ‘emo-honest pop music’ but we think that tagline doesn’t do justice to how wildly-infectious their three-minute bangers are. Their stock-in-trade is a combination of shimmering synths, delicious grooves, indie guitar licks and tales of unrequited love, wrapped in ‘80s-influenced production. What’s just as striking as their music, is their contrasting gothic attire. You’ll be hard pushed to find a photo online where the band aren’t decked out in all black, looking super gloomy. If the contrast between their music and aesthetic doesn’t cement their status as uber-cool anti-pop stars, we don’t know what will.

What’s all the fuss about:

In 2017, they signed on the dotted line with renowned indie label Dirty Hit, becoming stablemates with the likes of Wolf Alice, Japanese House. It wasn’t long after that they were taken under the wing of their fellow Mancunians and labelmates The 1975, joining the pop titans on a mega tour of North America and enlisting their help with production duties on debut single ‘There’s A Honey’. The second release from the band ‘Television Romance’ was accompanied by a video directed by The 1975’s enigmatic frontman Matt Healy and is nominated for an NME award for Best Video. So, it comes as no surprise they’ve soared to the top of 2018 lists across the board, underscoring what is set to be a huge year for the band. With a headline tour of North America booked, an EP announced, and a debut album on the cards.

Essential Listening: ‘The Tide’, ‘Television Romance’, ‘There’s A Honey’.

‘All The Things I Never Said’ is due out March 16 via Dirty Hit.