The Ninth Wave are one of the vital thrilling new artists within the UK proper now. Having established themselves inside Glasgow’s prolific various scene and launched their debut album Infancy again in November 2019, the four-piece are again with an EP that sees them exploring a distinct method to their trademark darkish and highly effective synth-pop. We spoke to frontman Haydn Park-Patterson about Comfortable Days!, out 31st July on Distiller Data.
In some ways, Comfortable Days! has all of the hallmarks of a typical Ninth Wave file: Haydn’s emotionally uncooked vocals swim in a sea of thundering synths and atmospheric drums, evoking a gothic and intense really feel that utterly engulfs the listener; Millie Kidd’s harmonies add gentle and texture to every music; and the lyrical content material is characteristically bleak. Nonetheless, this EP can also be noticeably totally different from the band’s earlier materials, because it demonstrates a softer and extra intimate aspect to their music. There may be now extra emphasis on the vocals than on their surrounding instrumentals, extra ardour packed into fewer layers of sound.
“Earlier than, I might’ve danced round saying sure issues”
Haydn explains that the EP’s roots had been already rising throughout the recording of Infancy: “We’d found a variety of issues by means of the method of constructing the album. We realized on the finish of the recording that we’ve got fairly a giant tendency to layer stuff up – and it labored for these songs to have a giant wall of sound.” Fascinated with creating one thing extra stripped again, The Ninth Wave started work on Comfortable Days!. “We thought, ‘let’s do the alternative of [Infancy] this time spherical’”, remembers Haydn. “There are some massive bits on the EP, however there are additionally different moments the place it’s actually simply considered one of our voices and a piano or synth. There’s fucking acoustic guitar on it, which we’d by no means achieved earlier than!”
From the candid music titles and heart-on-sleeve lyrics to the crisp manufacturing and minimalist use of devices, Comfortable Days! feels extra easy than something The Ninth Wave have ever launched earlier than. That is partly resulting from Haydn’s love of writing poetry, one thing that shaped the premise of a few of these new songs and inspired him to handle troublesome topics. “Earlier than, I might’ve danced round saying sure issues, however the poetry I write is brutal within the sense that I don’t actually disguise something. I don’t assume my mum likes studying my poetry as a result of it makes her a bit unhappy generally! I feel that has translated into the songs, particularly ‘And The Weight’.”
This EP sees The Ninth Wave focus on psychological well being in a refreshingly trustworthy and open method, from Haydn confessing his unhealthy obsession with self-flagellation in ‘Come Down Eternally’ to Millie laying all her vulnerabilities naked on the cinematic piano ballad ‘Abattoir’. “I’ve by no means actually felt an obligation to speak about [mental health]”, says Hadyn, “nevertheless it’s good when one thing you’ve written may help somebody. It’s a factor that’s not talked about sufficient and that impacts us all, and it’s the primary topic of all of our songs in a roundabout way.”
“We query much less now and simply let issues occur”
Comfortable Days! is The Ninth Wave at their most collaborative. Millie sings lead vocals on ‘Abattoir’, which she wrote final August, ‘I’m Solely Going To Harm You’ originated as Hadyn’s poem My Severed Coronary heart, and the title observe ‘Comfortable Days!’ was written by Calum. “We didn’t know we had been going to write down an EP”, Haydn tells me. “Calum had this demo and it ended up being [the track] ‘Comfortable Days!’. This turned our touchstone – it was nothing like what we’d put out earlier than, so all of us had this buzz once more about writing music.”
The band’s line up has change into extra concrete lately with the introduction of Kyalo Searle-Mbullu and Calum Stewart, each of whom assist with the songwriting. In Hadyn’s view, this has made a big distinction to the Ninth Wave’s music: “Normally it could simply be me and Millie, however the writing duties are actually extra unfold out. It’s good to know we are able to write collectively. All of us have fairly totally different tastes and I feel that’s why this EP ended up the way in which it’s. When the writing was simply me and Millie, we hadn’t actually discovered what our fashion ought to be. We query much less now and simply let issues occur.”
The Ninth Wave appear altogether extra assured on Comfortable Days!, with each Hadyn and Millie singing extra comfortably of their pure Scottish accents, one thing that Haydn hadn’t observed till Millie pointed it out. “It was Millie that stated that it’s simply been a confidence factor. It’s not that we didn’t sing with honesty earlier than, however [we now sing with] only a bit extra bluntness, and with that comes singing in the way in which that you simply say the phrases in your head.” However Haydn emphasizes that the band’s Scottishness is just one facet of their identification: “It’s good being from Scotland as a result of we’ve got such a wealthy historical past of music. However as quickly as you play music in entrance of individuals, you neglect the place you’re from and also you’re simply there with folks.”
Comfortable Days! serves as proof that The Ninth Wave are a band able to evolving with out sacrificing their musical identification. They don’t need to merely decide on the sound that they’ve beforehand introduced to the world, they need to problem it. “We’re simply extra open [now] to listening to new, bizarre stuff that’s going to affect us in numerous methods,” explains Haydn. “We’ve began caring much less about ‘Oh, is that this an excessive amount of like this or that?’ All of us have a distinct mindset than we did a yr in the past.” With this newfound sense of inventive liberation, The Ninth Wave have crafted an EP that has a burning power working proper by means of it – the kind of power that solely emanates from a band who’re firmly answerable for their imaginative and prescient.
The Ninth Waves’ Comfortable Days is launched this Friday by way of Distiller data and is obtainable to pre-save or pre-order now.