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All Time Low and Pale Waves capture the anxiety of our moment with “PMA”

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[Photo via All Time Low]

All Time Low have teamed up with Pale Waves to release “PMA.”

The single was produced by longtime collaborator Zakk Cervini and serves as the first collaboration between the two bands.

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“PMA” is an exposé of emotional transparency in the wake of COVID-19. A shorthand for  “Post Modern Anxiety,” the track feels like the perfect conclusion after a year-and-a-half of uncertainty.

The combination of optimistic instrumentation and reflective vocals that solidified All Time Low as a poppunk tour de force in 2006 are on display in the new track. Vulnerable yet remarkably relatable lyrics about isolation such as “I dumb it down with Jeopardy and late-night TV/And I don’t even like it” give a contemporary context to the song while driving riffs provide a timeless edge.

The track has more pop-punk elements than is typical of Pale Waves, but that didn’t stop lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie from putting forward an excellent performance. As melancholy rhythms ebb and flow, the singer’s melodic delivery creates an image of melatonin losing its touch and the fear of fireworks.

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All Time Low lead singer Alex Gaskarth says the track addresses the longing and anxiety related to isolation.

“‘PMA’ is a journey into isolation and overstimulation,” the singer says in a press release. “It’s about the little mundane things we do to keep ourselves distracted when loneliness becomes a constant and leaves us feeling apathetic. It’s existential dread wrapped in nervous laughter kissed by the SoCal sun. Heather and Pale Waves joining us on this one quite literally brings the hopeful shine to the lyrics, the promise of safety in the shared experience, the understanding we’re all living it together.”

“I was really happy that Alex asked me to be on the track as I’ve always been a big fan of All Time Low,” Baron-Gracie adds. “[I] loved the song when he sent it over. I really related to the themes, especially the exhausting worry that you’re never doing or being enough in life.”

Both bands are scheduled to go on tour after a year of isolation. While Pale Waves’ U.K. tour isn’t scheduled until February 2022, All Time Low have scores of shows in summer and fall 2021. A contest is being held for two people to win tickets for the sold-out New Jersey Sad Summer Fest, which the band will headline alongside the Story So Far. A portion of each entry goes to the LGBTQ Freedom Fund, which pays bail for LGBTQIA+ individuals in jails and immigration facilities. You can enter the contest here.

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The Maine and Grayscale will join All Time Low for the first round of tour dates. nothing,nowhere. and Meet Me @ The Altar will appear for the second half. You can get tickets for All Time Low here, Pale Waves here and find tour dates for both bands below.

What do you think of All Time Low and Pale Waves’ collaboration on “PMA”? Listen to the track and drop your thoughts in the comments!

All Time Low tour dates:

08/06 – Sacramento, CA @ Sad Summer Fest 2021
08/07 – Anaheim, CA @ Sad Summer Fest 2021
08/08 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
08/10 – Denver, CO @ Mission Ballroom
08/13 – Kansas City, MO @ KC Live!
08/14 – St. Louis, MO @ Ballpark Village St. Loui
08/15 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
08/17 – Dallas, TX @ South Side Ballroom
08/18 – Austin, TX @ Stubbs
08/20 – Orlando, FL @ Sad Summer Fest 2021
08/21 – Atlanta, GA @ Sad Summer Fest 2021
08/22 – Nashville, TX @ Marathon Music Works
08/24 – Norfolk, VA @ The Norva
08/25 – Harrisburg, PA @ XL Live

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08/27 – New York, NY @ Sad Summer Fest
08/28 – Baltimore, MD @ Sad Summer Fest
08/31 – Columbus, OH @ Sad Summer Fest
09/01 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater & Ballroom
09/03 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Sad Summer Fest
09/04 – Worcester, MA @ Sad Summer Fest
09/05 – Philadelphia, PA @ Sad Summer Fest
09/07 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Sad Summer Fest
09/10 – Milwaukee, WI @ Sad Summer Fest
09/11 – Pontiac, MI @ Sad Summer Fest
09/12 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center
09/15 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater

09/16 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theater
09/18 – Las Vegas, NV @ Daytime Stage @ iHeartRadio Music Festival
09/18 – Las Vegas, NV @ Life is Beautiful
09/22 – London, UK @ O2 Academy
09/23 – London, UK @ O2 Academy
09/26 – Manchester, UK @ O2 Apollo
09/27 – Glasgow, UK @ Barrowland Ballroom
09/28 – Glasgow, UK @ Barrowland Ballroom
10/12 – New Orleans, LA @ Orpheum Theater

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10/13 – Birmingham, AL @ Avondale Brewing Company
10/15 – Richmond, VA @ The National
10/16 – Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
10/17 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte
10/19 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
10/20 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
10/22 – Toronto, ON @ HISTORY
10/23 – Grand Rapids, MI @ GLC Live at 20 Monroe
10/24 – Louisville, KY @ Old Forester’s Paristown Hall
10/27 – Sioux Falls, SD @ The District
10/28 – West Des Moines, IA @ Val Air Ballroom
10/30 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fillmore Minneapolis
10/31 – Winnipeg, MB @ Burton Cummings Theater
11/02 – Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall
11/03 – Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Hall Concerts
11/05 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theater
11/06 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
11/07 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
11/10 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
11/11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
11/12 – San Diego, CA @ Humphreys Concerts By The Bay

Pale Waves tour dates:

02/11 – Bristol, UK @ O2 Academy Bristol
02/12 – Cardiff, UK @ The Great Hall, Cardiff Uni Students Union
02/13 – Nottingham, UK @ Rock City
02/14 – Birmingham, UK @ O2 Academy Birmingham
02/16 – Bournemouth, UK @ O2 Academy Bournemouth
02/17 – Leeds, UK @ O2 Academy Leeds
02/19 – Belfast, UK @ Limelight
02/20 – Dublin, IE @ The Academy, Middle Abbey Street
02/21 – Glasgow, UK @ O2 Academy Glasgow
02/23 – Sheffield, UK @ O2 Academy Sheffield
02/25 – Leicester, UK @ O2 Academy Leicester
02/26 – Oxford, UK @ O2 Academy Oxford
02/28 – London, UK @ Roundhouse
03/01 – Manchester, UK @ Victoria Warehouse
07/07 – Madrid, ES @ Mad Cool Festival 2022

“PMA” lyrics:

Time to face up to the inevitable
I’m terrified I’m losing it from staying at home
I dumb it down with Jeopardy and late-night TV
(And I don’t even like it)
Safe to say
I’m glad I’m not the only one
(And I don’t have time for all this time I’m wasting)
What are you trying to fix me for?
Maybe I’m broken
But I’m not sure
Am I depressed or am I just bored?
Apathy and irony
postmodern anxiety
Tell me you’re OK
“Yeah? What’s that like?”
Rose-tinted glasses
It must be nice
Doing your best
Living your best while you die inside

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Apathy and Irony; Postmodern Anxiety
I don’t mind the fireworks that keep me awake
(But they still kinda scare me)
I don’t think the melatonin works at all
My moneyplant’s dying and the dust is collecting
(And my therapist hates me)
It’s Monday morning, sleeping through the wake-up call
What are you trying to fix me for?
Maybe I’m broken
But I’m not sure
Am I depressed or am I just bored
Apathy and irony
And postmodern anxiety
Tell me you’re OK
Yeah? What’s that like
Rose-colored glasses
It must be nice
Living your best while you die inside
Apathy and Irony and Postmodern Anxiety

Alternative Press Original Article

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