When Did Music and Fashion Stop Holding Hands? A Look At Pale Waves
Remember the days of the Mods and Rockers? How image was a key tool for showing your personality to the world? Or how you were taught to only listen to a certain type of music, depending on your style? Those days are gone. This generation of millennials has set itself the task of abolishing stereotypes, and has subsequently created a movement of embracing all parts of yourself and others, no matter how unexpected they may be. I mean, could you imagine a Rocker listening to Beethoven in front of all his mates? Not unless it was in a scenario such as in Leon The Professional, before Gary Oldman’s character kills an entire family.
When I had first heard of the band, Pale Waves, I was excited at the prospect of there being a moody rock, or possibly heavy metal band in the charts. You can imagine my surprise when I had heard "There’s A Honey" for the first time. Behind smudged eyeshadow and copious amounts of leather, was something completely out of place. This gothic, hipster looking band was making indie-pop music! And in the process, shattering all of my preconceptions that music and fashion went hand in hand. All of these ideas that had been cooked up in the height of the punk and grunge days, were now gone to me.
If you think back to an older punk scene, you automatically have thoughts of DIY fashion. Getting your hands on an old pair of jeans and adding a hundred safety pins, in order to customize it to your liking. Cutting up loads of different fabrics and making your own jacket. Throw in a ton of hair gel and heavy eye make-up and you’ve got yourself an iconic look. The same goes for grunge; tartan shirts, bleached hair with overgrown roots, oversized and bleached denim. There’s a reason that these clothing styles resonated with so many music fans, and why they still emerge every few years as trends again. Being able to dress yourself to look more like your favourite artists or other fans you identify with creates a deeper connection to the music.
I think that this is where Pale Waves are able to draw people in, and have gained a cult following behind them in such a short space of time, with such a short back catalogue. The amalgamation of punk romantic fashion with a dash of The Cure and The Sex Pistols, plus a sprinkling of Tim Burton gives the band an air of mystery without going too "Hot Topic". And yet, you'll find yourself shocked at how different the music is from your preconceptions, and you have no choice but to listen to a few more songs.
Pale Waves appear to have transcended stereotypes by successfully blending gothic fashion with pop music, in a way that is relatable. They've crafted catchy music that is making pop and goth fans alike contemplate their style.
- Tyler Kelly