REVIEW: The Ninth Wave's mesmerizing new single, "Piece and Pound Coins"
Everything Glaswegian rockers The Ninth Wave write and release is done so mindfully, and their newest single, "Piece and Pound Coins," is no exception. This release sees the four-piece dig deep in a way that's entirely unique to them as a band. They're no strangers to introspection, to digging up what's hard to talk about and laying it all on the table, especially if it means a contemplative and cleansing experience for their listenership.
On "Piece and Pound Coins," singer Haydn Park-Patterson said, "I wrote this song about a friend who passed away a number of years ago. I’ve never really felt like I wanted to/could write about him for a number of reasons, but I guess the main one was because that for a long time, I wouldn’t have known what to write. Writing about death is a world away from writing about heartache/love/friendships because there’s nobody to listen to the song and wonder “is that about me?”. It’s a strange feeling, to write a song about someone that you know can’t ever hear it.
"The song also touches on the thought of wondering what he’d be up to now, 5 years on in his life, and how weird a thought it is that we’ve all continued on with our lives but his had a start and end point, and that’s it. No more memories to be made. The song also lets out a bit of confused anger that I felt not long after he passed, as I watched how a few people reacted to his death and the way in which they talked about it. That’s the meaning behind the line 'death makes some people sad and some people ugly / and some people took your name for their own sake'. I like to think that he’d like the song, as he was one of the most supportive and positive-minded people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing."
And he's right; grief is such a taboo subject in media, and in music in particular. It's not as palatable a thing as heartbreak or loneliness, or even anger. Death is the one thing in this life that we can't fully explain away or bring ourselves to understand. It's something we all grapple with, but we hate to think or talk about it for too long. It's the ultimate paradox.
I think The Ninth Wave have done a beautiful job of taking this idea that feels so big and scary, and making it digestible, in a way that doesn't diminish the value and gravity of the topic. It's a very cathartic listening experience, for me, at least, so I can only assume it was even more cathartic as the one writing it.
The official video for the single is particularly powerful. It features Park-Patterson on what seems to be a solitary walk through the forest, ruminating on the lyrics, before, at the start of the first chorus, he's joined by a wolf. The lighting is beautiful, the aerial shots are spectacular. I can't remember the last time I was so moved by a music video. (That's a lie, I can - Sam Fender's "Dead Boys." But still. That was a long time ago!)
The Ninth Wave continue to eclipse themselves. The music that they're in the process of releasing is exploratory and is so similar yet so, so different from anything they've put out before. I can't wait to hear what else they have coming down the pipeline.