Danish alternative rock group Efterklang are to release their fourth album Piramida on 4AD this month. The Copenhagen group’s band name comes from the Danish word for “remembrance” or “reverberation” and you can see the nostalgia of a name like this reflected in the dreamy, thoughtful music they produce. Piramida follows the band’s third and critically acclaimed album Magic Chairs, the band have since worked on music for films and with a variety of great acts. The core line up is made up of vocalist and instrumentalist, Casper Clausen with electronics by Mads Christian Brauer and with Rasmus Stolberg on bass.
“Hollow Mountain” is an experimental number with popping, chiming noises to open – lead singer Clausen’s vocals stand out from the start. “Sedna” is a considered track, the chorus sends a sad message; “your weight, tipping me over, all living, is taking me over”. The track is spacey and the piano and chords come together beautifully with an orchestral feel. Indeed, The Danish National Chamber Orchestra performed their second album Parades in it’s entirety in 2008 probably because their musical arrangements suit sweeping, majestic presentation so well. Clausen’s vocal range is showcased with the second part of the song sung in a higher pitch, still in the same melody.
Soft electronics pick up the pace in “Told To Be Fine” whilst the vocals stay whimsical over the top. “The Ghost” is a steady track with steel drum sounds brought in for a unique, worldly twist. Piano plays a key role in “Black Summer”, as does brass instrumentals and the two sounds contrast to great effect; the piano has a melancholy vibe whilst the brass sounds are more bright. Both break for the vocals; “Enough I am not, enough I am not real…tell me if you want me still”.
“Between The Walls” goes back to more electronic sounds, static noise and jumpy synth sit behind vocals. Closing track “Monument” surges with all the emotion come to be expected from an Efterklang song – instrumentals speak of nostalgia whilst the lyrics spell it out. At the same time managing to be both sad and emotional but edged with hope and positivity. It’s these elements that make Efterklang and Piramida so special and surely a treat to see performed live as well.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.