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December 2020 / January 2021
Feature

Track by Track: The Ninth Wave - Happy Days! EP

The Scottish band's new EP has just landed. 
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Published: 12:20 pm, July 31, 2020 Photos: Nuala Swan.
Track by Track: The Ninth Wave - Happy Days! EP

The Ninth Wave have today released their new EP 'Happy Days!'. Produced by The Horrors' Faris Badwan, it's a darkly glam, highly danceable post-punk set made for miserable discos, or soundtracking the moody kid's transformative adventure in an 80s coming-of-age flick. Haydn Park-Patterson and Millie Kidd talks us through the release, track by track.

AND THE WEIGHT

This is one of two songs on the EP that we produced and recorded ourselves, which is something that we’ve never done before but always wanted to do. It was all recorded in between takes and during tea-breaks during our time at Black Bay Studio. It’s an incredibly raw start to the EP!

I’M ONLY GOING TO HURT YOU
H:
This song has existed in so many forms that we’ve lost count of the amount of different demo versions there are of it. It began life as one of my poems, titled ‘My Severed Heart’, from which the chorus lyrics in the final version were taken. Big angry synths ahoy.
For both the percussion and the bass line, we used a very all-hands-on-deck approach by a live manipulation of the instruments throughout the song, giving it more of a live performance feel.

COME DOWN FOREVER
H:
Emotional Masochism 1-0-1. The main idea for the song and some of the lyrics were taken from around the same time that I’m Only Going To Hurt You started to take its shape - it comes from the same place and the same emotions that birthed that song. It touches on the same ideas in Flower Into Wounds as well - the feeling of almost enjoying getting hurt and finding that a comfortable place to be. It’s basically just a fancy way of saying that I enjoy wallowing in self-pity!
The bouncy/uplifting feel of the track makes a stark contrast with the self-deprecating lyrics, and it’s the first time we’ve ever used acoustic guitar on a track (which cost £20 from an antique shop in Glasgow).

ABATTOIR
M:
We live in a society where some people feel it’s ‘weak’ to talk about their feelings, and so they live their lives with barriers surrounding them, using their lifestyles to bury these feelings and never letting anybody into their hearts. Abattoir is a song about trying to break down these barriers in an attempt to realise it’s okay not to be okay. However, sometimes people seem too far down the wrong path, and help is seen as a threat, which causes more harm than worth for both sides. This song was self-produced and recorded mostly in my bedroom (and the beautiful piano full of stories at La Chunky Studios) and revolves around 3 instruments: piano, clarsach and my Grandmother synth. It’s us at our most vulnerable and completely stripped bare.

THERE IS NOTHING I HATE MORE THAN SMALL TALK
M:
In a similar field to Abattoir, Small Talk touches on the subject of masculine fragility. The social expectations of masculinity do not allow room for emotions. Small Talk explores how detrimental this emotional repression is on mental health, for both sides of the relationship. Sometimes when facing an uncomfortable situation, you can’t help but listen to that voice inside your head that says ‘Stay quiet. Avoid confrontation. Take the blame.’. The more you stay quiet, the more emotion builds and builds inside your head, like a pan of boiling water about to overflow. Small Talk is a view of life through the eyes of one reaching this tipping point; the frantic thoughts on the verge of a panic attack.

H
APPY DAYS!
There’s a large emphasis on percussion rather than melody in this track, it’s almost like a fight to get them to cohere with each other when they’re all moving in their own ways. The constant tension in the song perfectly sums up the themes of the EP, paired with the apocalyptic and cryptic lyrics it really makes you feel pretty uncomfortable, right up until that sweet release at the end.
H:
It was the first time I was collaborative with the whole band in regards to lyrics, I normally much prefer being in my own headspace when writing lyrics, but in this track, it felt right to be a group effort.

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