THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Pale Waves and Miya Folick, The Social, Nov. 3
Being from a city with some of the heaviest, most seminal heritage in alternative music history, you’d think Pale Waves
would know better. But the Siouxsie Sioux rips
of this young Manchester band are surely earning them some mad shade
from all the true goths, especially since their look is as far as their alt-rock commitment goes.
If you squint real hard, maybe you can see occasional faint echoes of the dreamy chimes of 1980s alternative guitar pop. Maybe. But no amount of pale face and black makeup can conceal that this is barely shaded, high-gloss pop-rock with very commercial sensibility.
If ever there was an express lane to Poseurtown, this would be it. Although lightweight, Pale Waves’ music isn’t bad necessarily, particularly live where they were solid. It’s just that this book’s not half as interesting as its cover.
An artist to watch very seriously, though, is fresh should-be star Miya Folick.
Although the California artist is just emerging with a brand new debut album (Premonitions
) that released the week before her Orlando debut, she’s already showing big artistic strides.
In this first full-length work, her early indie-folk musings have broadened into forward-thinking indie pop
with nerve and verve. Rather than schizophrenic and overreaching, it’s a diverse album that shows an artist of extraordinary versatility but moored in vision and confidence. The brilliance with which Folick handles this major pivot shows an immense nascent talent that packs potential like a powder keg. And it’s produced one of the year’s best, most poised, most striking albums.
Even if she still needs a little live refinement to match the finesse of her new record, this performance showed plenty of the stunning concentration of natural aptitude and possibility that resides in her. A new voice who can balance smart pop aspiration with a cliff-diving finale of guitar crashes and yelling catharsis is someone to pay attention to.
Miya Folick is already proving herself to be a complex figure, one that’s carrying the deep spirits of Annie Lennox, Kate Bush
and Sinéad O’Connor
on into the bold now alongside contemporaries like Mitski
and Angel Olsen
to bring integrity and salvation to modern pop.
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