Siinai’s Sykli Is Incredible!
This blog apparently receives a buncha promo material. I know this because I receive a coupla promos a week. Some of them are from bands of which I’ve never heard, and those can turn out to be the most fun to investigate. A promo came in from a band called Siinai, who are from Finland — so of course I gave their upcoming release Skyli a dedicated listen. What I heard was so amazing that I have to tell you about it. It ain’t metal, but we don’t care about that.
Let’s examine the facts… 100% of the Finnish people I know are cool, and they seem to always be able to provide high quality music recommendations when asked. So we have that. Oranssi Pazuzu and Kairon; IRSE! have both put out some absolute bangers, and both of those bands are from Finland. Going by this data, already you know that the music is going to come from a place of authenticity and passion from the artist. I mean they definitely ain’t making intricate and complicated stuff like this to sell records, they really care about the craft; and it always seem to be the rule (rather than the exception) when discussing bands from that mystical country. I guess they take their music seriously over there.
(They look cool as AF too.)
Here’s where I try and describe the genre to you. They fall on the ambient side of the musical spectrum. There are plenty of flourishes of electronics, but lightly used. Repetition plays an important role, but it’s not abused. Think of it like listening to a great soundtrack to a great film. Vocal chants are utilized sparingly and effectively. Some songs feature light drumming and even a little guitar, but it’s rare. We shall call it “minimal” music, though I would totally believe that there exists much more minimal music in the world of which I’m not aware.
Skyli is an instrumental concept album about the five stages of life, each song being a chapter of the story. It is also drop-dead gorgeous all throughout its 50 some-odd minute runtime. This is an album which may spur me to finally purchase a turntable and start a vinyl collection. I urge you not to listen to it whilst busy with tasks at work, or whilst driving in heavy traffic. Wait until you get home, imbibe a potion of your own choosing (whichever enhances your appreciation of music) and take it all in without distractions. It may reward you like few heavy metal albums seem to be able to do to me these days.
Siinai let the world listen to “Ananda” a coupla weeks ago, so on the chance that you missed it, here’s your chance to see what you think here:
What did you think of “Ananda”? If you loved it, the album only gets better from there. That embedded track is way more rock sounding than most of the other songs on Sykli, and it scores highly on the “how repetitious is it?” scale. The keyboards make their presence known on the song at a frequency that’s just a little different than the drumbeat, as well as the occasional visiting vocal chants. So while we call it repetitive, it’s intensely catchy and contains rewards for the engaged listener. All the other songs are more similar to something that would be found on the soundtrack of a great science fiction film. There were a few points on the record that reminded me of the soundtrack to Interstellar (love it or hate it, the soundtrack is definitely a good). The real MVP of this record is track three, which is planted right in the middle, and shares a name with the album’s title. This almost nine-and-a-half minute journey features plenty of twists and turns, starting out slowly and building atmosphere into a giant crescendo (featuring horns) at the end. Enjoy the recently-released music video for “Sykli”:
Side note: we know that Sykli going to succeed as a concept album, because they made a terrific one in 2014 called Supermarket about that very topic. After listening to Cykli 10-20 times, I went and discography dove just a little bit and purchased the album on Amazon Music, and I am telling you right now it is just as good as Sykli, if not even better. So the good news is that if you also discover — and fall in love with — Siinai right now, there’s more music to absorb and appreciate. They’re good at conveying a wealth of emotions with music: able to capture, quantize, and reproduce feelings centered around life’s experiences, from the complex to the mundane.
I’ve only described two of the five tracks, and that is on purpose. I highly recommend going into this experience knowing as little as possible; the surprise is a part of the fun. They’re all unique when held against each other, yet they all definitely sound like they are played by the same collective of musicians. The songs are not short. Most of them approach, or cross, the 10-minute mark; but it’s the patience of the creators which impresses me to no end. The music has time to breathe, time to evolve; it’s never rushed. It’s music which engages the mind and pays off in spades.
Sykli is a game-changer in what I would call my interest in different types of music. Whatever we may choose to call it, it is going to compete for the title of “favorite genre of music” tied with heavy metal. Aside from one incredibly minor gripe, something not even worth discussing; it’s perfect. So I present to you an album that scores like a 4.90 on the full Toilet Scale. It’s creative, it’s progressive, it’s passionate… and by pure accident it hit every single checkbox for what I consider to be an amazing listen.