Pale Waves release powerful, emotional anti-bullying single The Hard Way

Pale Waves
(Image credit: Ami Ford)

Pale Waves have released a powerful new single from their upcoming Unwanted album, in the form of emotional anti-bullying anthem The Hard Way

Explaining the themes addressed in the song, the fourth single to be lifted from the album, following the release of Jealousy, Reasons To Live and Lies, vocalist Heather Baron-Gracie says: "When I was in high school a girl who was being bullied took her own life. I got on the bus with her every single morning and I would see her sitting in her same spot. She sat downstairs, and I would go upstairs. The Hard Way is about my regret for not helping her, or standing up for her, that I feel now as an adult.

"As a kid you’re so shy and afraid, but I hope it’ll influence people to stand up for those who need help, and help people understand that their words and actions can be really damaging. You don't know how cruel you can be sometimes, especially at that age."

The song's opening verse runs:

'We were just strangers
Didn’t know your name but
I could tell you were good at hiding your pain
The ones you kept closest
Didn’t even notice
But I saw your heartache, yet I stayed away'

Listen to The Hard Way below:

On the subject of Unwanted, which was produced by Zakk Cervini (Blink-182, Machine Gun Kelly) and is set for release on Dirty Hit on August 12, Baron-Gracie says, “The album dives into feelings that I felt not only needed to be written but I felt like our fans want to hear.

"Almost everyone has felt like they don't belong, or has been made to feel like they’re not good enough. That’s a consistent theme that I'm seeing from our fans – that their family doesn't approve of them, or their friends have disowned them because they've come out. So Unwanted had to be honest, provocative and loud. Not only thematically, but in the music as well.” 

"We don’t need to fit a perfect mould, we don’t need to apologise for being ourselves, and we won’t change for anyone.”

The band have lined up some in-store appearances in August around the album's release date. They will play:

Aug 11: Kingston Banquet Records
Aug 12: Brighton Resident Records
Aug 14: Southampton Vinilo Records
Aug 15: Bristol Rough Trade
Aug 17: Newcastle HMV
Aug 18: Leeds Vinyl Whistle

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.