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EFTERKLANG

Every year as spring arrives, a sea of tiny flowers blossom across the Danish forest floor. They’re an explosion of colour, a symbol of hope and change, disappearing as quickly as they arrived and exposing the constant cycle of nature. They are known colloquially as windflowers.

For over twenty years, Efterklang have been pushing the barriers of experimental, electronic, emotional chamber-pop. Announcing their sixth studio album Windflowers, their first for City Slang, the Danish trio of Mads Brauer, Rasmus Stolberg and Casper Clausen continue a creative journey that’s brought them closer together, even as their lives grow apart. Channelling the motifs of hope and change its namesake flora represents, the album sees their many years of collaboration and experimentation distilled into some of their finest and most direct melodic moments to date.

With their ability to bring in guests and session musicians restricted, Efterklang had to challenge their usual creative process and accept their own limitations. Recorded over the course of five trips to residential studio Real Farm on the island of Møn, south of Copenhagen, the genesis of Windflowers was back to basics and became an exercise in putting their vast and dynamic experience to play. The album finds Casper singing in English again, for the most part. It’s rich and intimate, the sound of three friends finding each other at a time when the world around them felt unstable. The record is about existing, alone, together and in nature. It’s about reconnecting, and letting each other grow.

Efterklang’s constant innovation and openness for collaborating extends past the band’s core members and into the world of the listener. Now sharing new music through their Developed platform, fans are invited to collaborate and respond as they listen to the new tracks for the first time. Collaboration and community has always been the compass of Efterklang, and the group keeps looking for new ways to build a meaningful correspondence with their audience, to be inventive and inclusive. “We don’t want to play to people, we want to perform and make music with people,” Rasmus explains.

After all their years together, Mads, Casper and Rasmus share the real intimacy of family. Windflowers is proof that connection and community can triumph over adversity, and the result is something truly beautiful.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Having been one of my all time favourites, Efterklang have moved from swimming, electronic melodies and blipping Múm-esque percussives to this widescreen pop distillation. Their latest continues the line of synthy pop offerings, but with a renewed confidence and easy-going swing. Another stunner from the 'Klang.

TRACK LISTING

A1. Alien Arms
A2. Beautiful Eclipse
A3. Hold Me Close When You Can
A4. Lady Of The Rocks
A5. Dragonfly
B1. Living Other Lives
B2. Mindless Center
B3. House On A Feather
B4. Åbent Sår (feat. The Field)

Efterklang

Altid Sammen

    Altid Sammen (meaning “always together”) is deep and sonorous, steeped in the sonic experimentation that has long been their trademark since Tripper, the Danes’ 2004 debut. As bold and ambitious in scope as their last collection of songs, Piramida, Casper Clausen (vocals), Mads Brauer (synths, electronics) and Rasmus Stolberg (bass) have taken another creative U-turn, this time fusing baroque instrumentation with their signature expansive sound.

    Efterklang’s last release, Piramida, centred around a ghost town in the Arctic, was a grand and all-encompassing project that spawned a movie, live album and a series of unforgettable shows (including a live debut at the Sydney Opera House). Their final performance in Sønderborg – the southern Danish town where the band grew up – marked a closing of a chapter, for Piramida and for Efterklang.

    “We needed a break from the album and touring routine, and we needed a break from Efterklang,” says Clausen. “After the Sønderborg show, things felt very exciting – and a bit scary too. We could think freely, and move in new directions again, just focusing on the things that excited the 3 of us.”

    That break saw the trio explore projects outside of the group’s confines. Together they co-wrote and performed an opera with friend and composer Karsten Fundal (LEAVES, The Colour Of Falling) as part of the Copenhagen Opera Festival. Meanwhile, Clausen, Brauer and Stolberg reunited with Efterklang’s touring drummer Tatu Rönkkö for a new band, Liima. In sharp contrast to Efterklang, they scaled down the music process, creating songs in a day, and released two records of icy, grand electronic pop, ii (2016) and 1982 (2017).

    What lured them back as Efterklang was another off-kilter collaboration, this time with B.O.X, a Belgian ensemble founded by lute player Pieter Theuns that performs new music with baroque orchestration. Initially invited by Theuns to compose music for a joint performance, the experience inspired and invigorated the trio to return to the studio for a new Efterklang album proper. For perhaps the first time in the band’s history, they took a less-is-more approach to Altid Sammen, engaging on a more primal and emotional level. The album also sees the trio break from tradition with Clausen singing in his mother tongue some of his most personal lyrics thus far.

    “Altid Sammen’s songs are about belief and togetherness,” Clausen says. “Not in a religious way – none of us are believers of a defined religion. The words are searching for meaning in intimate relationships, in nature, in death and eternity. The bonds we create; to gather, hold hands, sing or share a moment together. We’re all connected, across nations, age, sex and gender. We come together with all of our backgrounds, and we move apart in all sorts of directions, always together.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: I've loved Efterklang for some time now, and it really has been fascinating to see the trajectory of the core band and their former members (Peter Broderick being one of them!). Their newest outing takes the morose poppy melodies of Piramida with some of the electronic scree of their earlier work, and it's a perfectly measured and completely brilliant electronic pop LP. Superb as ever from Clausen & co.

    TRACK LISTING

    Vi Er Uendelig
    Supertanker
    Uden Ansigt
    I Dine øjne
    Hænder Der åbner Sig
    Verden Forsvinder
    Under Broen Der Ligger Du
    Havet Løfter Sig
    Hold Mine Hænder

    Efterklang With Copenhagen Phil

    The Piramida Concert

      Over the years Efterklang hae developed an insatiable taste for adventure, keen to immerse themselves in different projects and be challenged musically. Collaborating with classical orchestras is one such challenge that the band have never shied away from, and the results have always been stunning. With the release of their fourth album ‘Piramida’, they continued this tradition by performing it for the first time - before the record itself was released - at the iconic Sydney Opera House in May 2012 with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. An unorthodox way of introducing a new body of work, perhaps, but the moment has become a milestone in Efterklang’s twelveyear history.

      Early on in the gestation process of ‘Piramida’, Efterklang enlisted the talents of renowned composers Missy Mazzoli and Karsten Fundal to provide orchestral arrangements for the Sydney performance. Their invaluable contributions brought the orchestra into sharp focus, becoming the catalyst for the performance rather than an embellishment.

      Since their appearance at the Sydney Opera House, the band have played fifteen other such concerts - dubbed The Piramida Concerts - around the globe, including sold out performances at London’s Barbican with the Northern Sinfonia and New York’s Metropolitan Museum concert hall with The Wordless Music Orchestra.

      The album ‘Piramida’ was released in September 2012. It is named after a forgotten mining settlement on the Norwegian archipelago of Spitsbergen, located just south of the North Pole, abandoned since 1998 and slowly decaying. The trio of Casper Clausen, Mads Brauer and Rasmus Stolberg spent nine days exploring this ghost town, collecting field recordings that would help form the backbone of their fourth studio record. Although cut from the same cloth, The Piramida Concerts differ from Piramida and, keen to present this other side, Efterklang decided to commit one of the performances to tape. Fittingly, they chose the concert they played in their native Denmark, and this will be released as a deluxe double vinyl package (with a copy of the album on CD).

      ‘The Piramida Concert’ by Efterklang & Copenhagen Phil was recorded live at Copenhagen’s Royal Academy Of Music Concert Hall in October 2012. Over the course of two sold-out nights Efterklang - plus special guests Peter Broderick, Katinka Fogh Vindelev and Budgie (Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Creatures) - teamed up with the 33-strong Copenhagen Phil orchestra and German conductor André de Ridder to perform ‘Piramida’ in its entirety.

      The concert also features ‘So’, a song written during recording sessions for ‘Piramida’, and ‘Vælv’, a classical piece commissioned by Efterklang and composed by Karsten Fundal.

      Mixed to tape by Francesco Donadello at the Vox-Ton studio in Berlin, the deluxe gatefold double vinyl will consist of one black disc and one white, designed by Danish artists and long-time Efterklang collaborators Hvass&Hannibal.

      Efterklang

      Parades & Under Giant Trees - Special Edition

        One of two double CD reissues containing Efterklang’s first two full-length albums, together with their accompanying Eps, in deluxe foldout card packaging with new 16-page booklets containing sleeve notes written by the band.

        Watershed second album "Parades" is now joined by the long-deleted "Under Giant Trees" mini-album. This also features two live recordings of tracks from the album.

        TRACK LISTING

        CD1:
        1. Polygyne
        2. Mirador
        3. Him Poe Poe
        4. Horseback Tenors
        5. Mimeo
        6. Frida Found A Friend
        7. Maison De Réflexion
        8. Blowing Lungs Like Bubbles
        9. Caravan
        10. Illuminant
        11. Cutting Ice To Snow

        CD2:
        1. Falling Horses
        2. Himmelbjerget
        3. Hands Playing Butterfly
        4. Towards The Bare Hill
        5. Jojo
        6. Mirador (Live)
        7. Cutting Ice To Snow (Live)


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