“Am I depressed or am I just bored?” are easily the most relatable lyrics of 2021 (and 2020, if we’re being honest). As the world has started turning again and things are looking up, very few artists have been addressing the mental health concerns in the wake of the last year and a half. “PMA” is an anthem all about the PostModern Anxiety that we’re all feeling and processing in our own way.
I’ve been a fan of All Time Low for years, but I’m newer to the Pale Waves fandom. I was initially drawn to Heather’s bright, angsty, Avril-Lavigne vocals mixed with her hardcore aesthetic. Blending that with the pop punk millennial favorite All Time Low was a brilliant artistic decision, so I was thrilled when this single was announced out of basically nowhere.
Punchy melodies populate the choruses, while the more relaxed verses provide some much-needed musical dynamics. “What are you trying to fix me for? Maybe I’m broken but I’m not sure” are relatable lyrics that are hitting all the right notes with their fanbases. Subtle guitar notes lead into high-energy drum beats and chords in the choruses. I also enjoyed the little sound effects like the wake up alarm beeping right after “It’s Monday morning, sleeping through the wake up call”. An intuitive melody and typical pop chord progression make it easy to sing along almost immediately – always a plus on the marketing side of things.
The overall sound is well-situated in the pop punk realm, and Heather’s vocals add such a well-rounded tonal dynamic to the overall vibe. Where most duets usually have a romantic quality to them, I enjoyed the way this song functions a lot more like an encouraging mantra. “PMA” is all about self-worth, strength, and finding yourself amidst the chaos. It’s definitely a song begging to be played at an outdoor music festival alongside other pop punk royalty – and you’re in luck, because All Time Low is touring now (both as their own headliner and Sad Summer Fest). Grab a ticket to one of those if you haven’t yet – they put on a great show and you’ll probably even get to hear this song live!
Listen to “PostModern Anxiety” on Youtube HERE.