New Music – The Ninth Wave + Fontaines DC

New releases – The Ninth Wave / Fontaines DC

The Ninth Wave – Happy Days! (single)

Released today, The Ninth Wave’s latest single Happy Days! suggests a more experimental tone for their upcoming EP. Skillfully aided on production by Horrors’ frontman and all round black leather clad legend Faris Badwan, the track strolls across a backdrop of instrumental chasms, a foot still in 80s’ electro-glam but a step out to a more immersive, pulsating overall sound. Also present is the influence of Max Heyes who mixed the track; echoes of past clients Bloc Party’s early work notable on the gradual build of drums. One of the most exciting bands around, with this track The Ninth Wave continue to challenge the expected as they undoubtedly head to bigger things.

The band explain, ‘Happy Days! is a song of ups and downs. At its core, the lyrics shine a torchlight on the murky highs and lows of life. We wanted to make something harsher and more direct than songs we had written before, and this came together relatively quickly.

The flow of the song really captures what we were trying to get across with the lyrics: there’s a rumbling undertow throughout the whole song, interspersed with ethereal ambient sections and culminating in big nasty crushing beats. We were all agreed that this should be the first song from our new EP to let people hear, and hopefully they’re not frightened away.’

Listen to Happy Days! here

The Ninth Wave

Fontaines DC – A Hero’s Death (single)

Fontaines DC had quite the year in 2019, their debut LP Dogrel  high on many album of the year lists. Jumping straight back in with new music, the band have shared A Hero’s Death, title track for their second album due in July. The trademark spoken lyrics are back, the repeated refrain ‘Life ain’t always empty’ a harsh reality mixed with a glimmer of hope as things currently stand. Musically, the backing riff is more Strokes than the early punk simplicity of previous tracks, the intro a promise of something special that doesn’t disappoint on arrival. The starring role in the video is taken by Aidan Gillen, a clear indicator of the band’s popularity. It feels like this track is building the suspense of a rollercoaster climb, the rest of the journey will inevitably be worth waiting for.

Talking about the song and video, vocalist Grian Chatten says, ‘The song is a list of rules for the self, they’re principles for self-prescribed happiness that can often hang by a thread. It’s ostensibly a positive message, but with repetition comes different meanings, that’s what happens to mantras when you test them over and over. There’s this balance between sincerity and insincerity as the song goes on and you see that in the music video as well. That’s why there’s a lot of shifting from major key to minor key. The idea was influenced by a lot of the advertising I was seeing – the repetitive nature of these uplifting messages that take on a surreal and scary feel the more you see them.

The title came from a line in a play by Brendan Behan, and I wrote the lyrics during a time where I felt consumed by the need to write something else to alleviate the fear that I would never be able follow up Dogrel. But more broadly it’s about the battle between happiness and depression, and the trust issues that can form tied to both of those feelings.’

Watch the video for A Hero’s Death here

Fontaines DC


Words by Siobhan

6th May 2020