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Efterklang, the dreamy electronic post-rock trio from Denmark, is back with their new album, Piramida. The name of the album, Piramida, comes from the a distant polar ghost town in the arctic circle that the group decided to inhabit for the purpose of field recording, taking video and finding further inspiration for their new album. Casper Clausen, the lead singer of the group, when asked about the inspiration for the album said, “Everything that has gone onto this record is connected with that trip.” This deliberate isolation, which was aimed towards finding new ways to progress their sound, really did wonders for this group. Piramida is a much more serious and solemn piece of work in comparison to their other albums like Parades and Magic Chairs. Having said that, Piramida is still nothing short of beautiful.
The best way for me to describe this album is through comparing it to the Northern Lights (or the Auora Borealis if we want to get all scientific). This is what I always picture whenever I hear Efterklang. The movement of their songs are fluid and creative while the overall mood they capture is hollow and eerie at points and is only complimented by the bright and charming brass element that the group so fond of. For me, Efterklang succeeds in consistently creating this musical association with icy landscapes and dark foggy nights adding an aesthetic element that many bands fail to find in their musical journeys. ‘The Ghost” is a prime example of this aesthetic with its gentle metallic melody, untreated vocals, and the sharp but slow sweeps from the brass section.
The field recording that the group did for the album is both incredible and inspiring. Efterklang manages to show their audience that anything can be made into an instrument if you put your mind to it. The intro to “Hollow Mountain”, which is the first song on the album, starts with a twang like metal sound that was recorded from metal strikes being struck on an abandon gas tank that they found in the abandoned town of Piramida. Another example of this is when the group found a bunch of decorative gas lamps they used them to create the cavernous tones on “Told to be Fine”.
The combinations of electronic synths, layered choral voices, brass and strings make for an extremely full and majestic sound. When it is all brought in together during a songs crescendo, it creates a stirring ambient component that leaves you wanting more. Because this album is not as playful and upbeat as their older works, it may take listeners a good deal of patience to appreciate it at first but it quickly grows on you if you give it the proper attention that it deserves.