It took me a good few listens to figure out what exactly this song from Wendy Jack was all about. As a singer-songwriter from Tyrone, she has a history of musical projects that have involved raising awareness of human rights and environmental issues and “90 degrees” is a continuation of such efforts. As much as I wanted to connect to the song and appreciate her message, it all seemed a bit too much and kept going wayyy over my head.
It’s hard to even explain as I write this, but the song is essentially a mis-match of statements all thrown together that I struggled to make sense of. Artwork for the single itself appears to acknowledge my confusion, and helpfully states that “90 Degrees” is ‘a song about global warming, the cookie monster, and playing left-hand guitar’. Right, got it. I think.
But why are we sailing through at 90 degrees? As bad as I am at maths surely that could mean she just really likes right angles? Pretty sure whatever angle it is – I’m looking at it from the wrong one. Anyway, all confusion aside it was the winding acoustic guitar at the beginning that got me listening in the first place. It continues along like a quiet river minding its own business and is joined by Wendy’s vocals which I also enjoyed listening to. I guess she has that type of voice you’d find in dimmed cafes with many nodding in agreement at her statements, while others raise a glass with chants of “here here” ringing out.
Fair play to Wendy for using her musical talents to raise important issues, and of course it’s important they be addressed, but I just don’t think I’m the right audience for it.
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Written by Nicole Leggett