So Nighty Degrees (released October 9th 2017) is the second installment of music from the Swedish music and art project Spindelar. The music, much like the project itself, is shrouded in mystery. A sombre and noisy affair, So Nighty Degrees is one of those albums that takes multiple listens to fully digest.
Spindelar use tons of pulsating keyboards and intricate sound samples that, combined with the dreary overall tone, sounds a lot like Radiohead. “Fake My Birth” is a perfect example with touches of sitar, reserved drums, and whispery vocals all in front of a pulsing keyboard drone. Songs like this, so dense in sound and production, don’t necessarily require strong vocals, but then again…it never hurts to have strong vocals. No one I’ve ever met has told me that Thom Yorke’s vocals are the best part of Radiohead, but still he has incredible vocal chops, among many other gifts. But “Fake My Birth” gets by on its proclivity for keeping things interesting and perplexing.
There are moments on So Nighty Degrees that remind me of The Doors. At 1:23 into “South West” the keys launch into a segment that sounds strikingly similar to Ray Manzarek’s classic melody on “Light My Fire.” Maybe even a little too close… Similarly, on “Eternal Joy” the guitars lay into this beautiful trance-inducing melody, but man, is it ever close to being the same melody that Robby Kreiger plays on another Doors classic “The End.” Despite its uncanny resemblance, “Eternal Joy” is a cool trip, and the sullen vocals give it a unique touch.
The second half of So Nighty Degrees delves even further into the bizarre, manipulating tons of jazz, noise, and ambiance comparable to Amon Tobin. “Tender Conversations” is a backward-talk, jazzy vamp that is eerie and unsettling. It would fit in nicely with a soundtrack for an old timey detective film if David Lynch were the director. The same could be said for “Feelin’ Good All The Time/Flowers.”
The second half of the album doesn’t quite jive with the first, and as a result the album comes across as a little too messy for my liking. Spindelar are working with a highly potent formula that could lead to masterful results. So Nighty Degrees flirts with that territory, but the compositions are yet to come to full fruition. On top of that, there are a few moments that feel slightly imitative as I explained earlier. Regardless, there is something brewing here, and my interest is piqued.
Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Kate Erickson