The Ninth Wave: Under the Influence
With part one of their two-part album Infancy set for release on 3 May, The Ninth Wave tell us what albums have inspired them over the years
Following on from winning the award for Best Newcomer at the 2016 Scottish Alternative Music Awards, it's been a steady upward trajectory for the Glasgow band who have since played the likes of The Great Escape festival in Brighton and South by South West in Austin, Texas.
Signed to London's Distiller Records label, and with a few EPs already under their belt, they're now gearing up to release their debut album Infancy, although maybe not in the way you'd think. Much like Foals' latest offering, it's going to be coming out in two parts with the first due on 3 May and the second following later in the year.
Ahead of its release, to get an idea of what makes The Ninth Wave tick musically, we asked the duo of Haydn Park-Patterson and Amelia Kidd to let us in on the albums that they feel have influenced their sound over the years.
Cocteau Twins – Treasure
This is the one album I remember hearing almost every day in my parents' house – I was named after the track Amelia so have always felt this proper connection to this album. My mum would always put it on full volume, so it’s one of those albums where even though I never played it myself until I was a teenager, when I did I knew everything about every song. It’s one of the most faultless albums I have ever listened to, and I’ve always loved how emotive the songs are despite not being able to tell what Liz Fraser is saying most of the time. [Amelia Kidd]
The Psychedelic Furs – The Psychedelic Furs
[Columbia Records, 1980]
My dad introduced me to this band when I was about 15 and it opened up a whole new world of music that I’d go on to listen to. They were the first band from that time that I got really into. The opening track India hit me really hard – I hadn’t really listened to a band with that sort of sound until that point; I was used to listening to AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, other bands like that as well as blues, folk and bluegrass music. Imitation of Christ is my favourite from the album. [Haydn Park-Patterson]
Palma Violets – 180
[Rough Trade, 2013]
180 was released on my 14th birthday, and it was the first vinyl that was ever bought for me that I hadn’t stolen from the family record collection. They were the first band I discovered on my own and got properly obsessed with – I loved their energy and how fun all their songs were. Me and my friends were at every single gig they did in Glasgow, even if it meant we had to fake our age to get in. I started to go see more bands that I was discovering at the time because of how much I had enjoyed Palma Violets’ gigs, so this introduced me to the incredible music scene in Glasgow that I’m so lucky to now be a part of – so I guess I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. [AK]
The Associates – Fourth Drawer Down
[Situation Two, 1981]
This album is one of the most eerie and atmospheric I’ve ever listened to. There’s an instant pang of sadness every time I put it on, partly because of the story of The Associates and the tragic end that Billy Mackenzie met, but also because of the emptiness in the production and the way in which the songs are presented. Listening to this album made me realise the importance of the feeling created from the instrumentation and production in music.
There’s a certain feeling that I experience that I don’t quite know how to explain, when a run of notes or a piece of melody creates a massive wave of emotion and a certain kind of melancholy or sadness, even if there’s no lyrics at that point. This album has a lot of those moments. Tell Me Easter’s on Friday is probably my favourite on the album and is a good example of what I mean. Mackenzie’s vocal performance is so emotive as well and nothing sounds over-produced, even with the electronics and synth sounds, there’s still a very raw quality to it all. [HP]
Grimes – Visions
The DIY aspect of Visions really got me inspired to create my own music – when I discovered that this whole album was recorded on GarageBand it really opened my eyes to what you could actually create yourself without a big producer and expensive studio time. Every single song has such a strong hook and proper gets under your skin, even the interludes have such depth and are so creatively simple, and I love how it all fits together as if it were one track. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to Oblivion or Genesis without getting this deep feeling of euphoria. [AK]
Black Marble – It’s Immaterial
[Ghostly International, 2016]
It’s Immaterial is another one of those albums that does that same sort of thing as Fourth Drawer Down. At times it’s even hard to understand what is being sung but it doesn’t even matter – the way that the chords, basslines and melodies sit together is amazing. It feels like my heart is being ripped out in the gentlest of ways when I put this album on. It feels weirdly optimistic and ominous at the same time. [HP]
FKA Twigs – LP1
[Young Turks, 2014]
My brother got me LP1 for Christmas one year and it completely captivated me. I couldn’t stop listening to it for months, and to be honest I still haven’t stopped. It has this sultry, ethereal sound that I had loved in bands before, but FKA Twigs brought such an aggression and power with it that I had never heard matched up. Her lyrics are so direct and honest and the fact that she uses her voice as an instrument of its own makes the music so eerie and beautiful.
I was also drawn to how visually stunning her performances are, and how perfectly stylised everything is. I listened to this album whilst driving back and forth from Glasgow to Bath when we were recording the album, so was constantly hearing different elements of the tracks that would inspire me. The hallway of my flat is plastered with prints from LP1 so every day I have a constant reminder of just how good music can be – it gives me something to aim for! [AK]
The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know
I listened to The Twilight Sad constantly for three months when I was going through a particularly dark time in my personal life. It probably isn’t the best idea to listen to music that is so dark at times like that, but I guess you can feel a sort of connection or relation of some sort at the time. You can hear the anguish in James Graham’s voice at times; there’s a few moments where it teeters on the brink of breaking and I love it. [HP]
Marika Hackman – We Slept at Last
[Dirty Hit, 2015]
The delicacy of this album makes it one I can listen to five times a day and still get chills down my spine at every play of every song. The melodies are so haunting and Hackman’s vocals are so vulnerable. Every time I go to write a harmony I think about this album and how beautifully crafted the harmonies are, every single one is layered and composed so perfectly. I used a lot of this inspiration in Used to Be Yours, where I properly got to delve deep into harmonic layering. I still put this album on if I can’t get to sleep at night, it does something to me that just makes me feel so at ease with the world. [AK]
Rush – Moving Pictures
Rush were a big part of my childhood – myself, my brother and my cousin all used to play music together and we were all reared on Rush. I don’t really listen to them anymore but every time I do I feel super nostalgic, especially with this album. I’ve also seen them live four times, so they’re the band I’ve seen the most apart from our friend’s bands. I think they still have an influence on the music I make now though, as I’m obsessed with writing percussion parts and slotting in rhythmic parts, which is a big part of Rush’s sound. It’s my favourite thing to do in the demo making process. There’s still a guitar cover video that I filmed of myself playing Limelight floating around on YouTube, but I can’t even find it and I’m hoping nobody else does either! [HP]
Infancy Part 1 is released on 3 May via Distiller Records
The Ninth Wave play Stag & Dagger, Glasgow, 5 May