"You know we care, you're running out of time"
This is the central call to action at the heart of “Difficult Days”, the vibrant debut single from Glasgow’s most exciting new band, One Nine.
A rampaging, guitar-driven, pop song about the desperate social climate in 2019, “Difficult Days” belies the downbeat subject matter by bursting into life with one of the most anthemic choruses of the year, beaming with hope and expectation.
Led by the distinctive vocals and guitar of Neil Mulholland, it is underpinned by Kirstin Lynn’s ear for a beat and sparkling electronics. If you’re at all familiar with the Scottish music scene then the duo’s faces might just be a little recognisable.
The pair became friends while working on different projects in studios next door to one another. "We’d been friends for a long time, studio neighbours, you could call it” explains Neil. “Although we both had massive respect and admiration for each other musically, the idea of starting a band together only came about when Kirstin left me a strongly worded note suggesting that we do exactly that.”
"The instant I saw her four-lettered message I could picture exactly how it was going to work,” he recalls. “An epiphany, if you will. It was a real moment, I get all soppy whenever I think about it. That was at the tail end of 2018, we've worked together every single day since then to bring One Nine to life.”
One Nine is a very democratic partnership, despite the expletive notes. “I had a batch of songs to get us started,” Neil begins, “but since then every aspect has become fully collaborative. We tend to be remarkably like-minded - we're yet to come across a disagreement. It’s a very highly motivated partnership too, constantly driven and encouraged by each others enthusiasm and work ethic. We like to keep the writing process varied and we’ll often collaborate with others, just to keep it spicy.” As well as regular collaborations with close friend Thomas McNeice (Gang Of Four), One Nine have recently worked with the likes of Chris Zane (Friendly Fires), Lewis Gardiner (Prides), Jimmy Harry (Pink/Madonna) and Slenderbodies.
While influenced by what could loosely be termed indie-electro (LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, Bombay Bicycle Club, Friendly Fires and Royal Canoe are just some of the artists One Nine cite as inspiration) the duo insist that “Difficult Days” shouldn’t be seen as a blueprint for the future.
“I think we have more variety than most” says Neil. “Although ‘Difficult Days’ is a guitar driven track we have some way more electronic stuff, some more chilled songs and even some hip-hoppy tracks lately. I think we cover a lot of bases - uplifting, flirtatious, darker and just downright sexy at times.”
If “Difficult Days” is the first example of honing their craft, then whatever One Nine have up their sleeve next is bound to be special.
3rd August – The Garage, Glasgow (headline show)