Upon first Google, Missoula-based band Spider + Octopus is as mysterious as its delicate experimental folk. The band's new album, After the Fire, available on Bandcamp and cassette, is pretty and gentle, filled with subtle layers of instrumentation. Violins weave in and out of acoustic and electric guitar melodies, accompanied by a male vocalist's lilting lyrics.
The band (pronounced Spider Plus Octopus) started out a few years ago as the solo project of Chad Bishop when he lived in Pensacola, Fla. "It was initially just me in a studio recording all the parts," he says.
He's since moved to Missoula for graduate school. Throughout the years, other musicians have joined in, like Ian Smith of Oblio Joes, and Spider + Octopus will be a full band at its first show in Missoula this week.
Bishop hesitates to define Spider + Octopus' sound. "It's just exploring different genres, folk music and rock," he says.
Experimental music can sometimes require an effort to listen to, but in this case, it's extraordinarily sweet and soothing.
Spider + Octopus, Skin Flowers, Mendelssohn and Butter play the Palace Fri., March 22, at 9 PM. $5.http://spideroctopus.bandcamp.com/