...

Repetition is a magnifying glass. The closer you look and the longer the cycle goes on for, the more intimately acquainted you get with each nook and crany. It’s a process that in small doses breeds familiarity and helps lodge melodies or turns of phrase into your head. Because of this, all western pop music is at its root repetitive. People are incredibly comfortable with repetition as long as they are convinced that the song is “going somewhere,” that its changes in timbre or dynamics will add up to something meaningful. Delay that gratification for too long, and people get antsy.

Siinai aren’t worried about you getting antsy. Their newest record Sykli is, as the name would suggest, laser-focused on the power of cyclical music. Its title track, which you can stream below, is especially so. You’ll have to trust both me and the band that the payoff is coming, but the purpose of “Sykli” is to guide your attention so deep into the weeds of its repeating patterns that you don’t see the waves of euphoria coming.

Even before the crash of horns, digital choirs, and percussion, “Sykli” is a gorgeous listen. Delicate clean guitars sparkle in a tentative triplet rhythm, synchronized against a lush piano and a steadily building assortment of bells. No matter how many additions the group makes, that triplet pulse never fades. That consistency forces you to pay attention to the minor shifts in tone and timbre. Floor toms sneak in and out, and the piano accents land just a hair off from where the guitars place their emphasis. Under the magnifying glass, each detail gains vast significance.

We all have our routines. Our daily rituals. Minor acts of unconscious repetition, and deliberate cycles that we maintain in order to preserve a semblance of order in an otherwise chaotic life. You do the dishes, you take out the trash. You repeat an encyclopedia of nervous tics that you’re barely aware of. Very little of it seems profound or particularly important, unless you spend an unhealthy amount of time digging into the minutia of each action. Maybe this is why people seem perturbed by hyper-repetitive music. By forcing you to sit still and process each pass through the cycle, Siinai call attention to the monotony that our brains try so hard to avoid acknowledging. Instead of treating that revelation as a moment of despair and horror, they depict it as a path to ecstasy, an explosion of sound that turns each detail into a thundering chorus.

Sykli is out on Svart records on October 27th. Follow Siinai on Facebook.

...

...