Hey, if I keep liking bands from stereotypically whitebread countries like Sweden, Finland, Denmark, etc., am I going to lose my hip hop cred? I hope not. Because you can add Efterklang to my growing list of dreamy, atmospheric, 100% caucasion foreign poppers. They’ve even got a (really good) song called “Scandanavian Love,” for God’s sake?
Denmark’s Efterklang have been around since 2000, but I was unfamiliar with their work until a friend played me their 2010 release, “Magic Chairs,” and I was instantly charmed and hooked.
Signed to England’s 4AD, the band managed to negotiate their own imprint, and Magic Chairs is their own label debut (Rumraket has also released albums by Slaraffenland, Grizzly Bear, and others. And I have to admire that indie spirit. To be able to make great, thoughtful pop music is hard enough. To be able to run a business at the same time is nearly impossible.
Now, about the music: It’s shoegaze without the navel gazing. It’s rich, full, orchestral pop without the Oasis-style wailing. It’s a constantly changing, big-sounding kaleidescope of strings, synths, overdubs and swirling sounds. It’s U2/Snow Patrol/Coldplay without the hooks or the toe-tap-ability. It’s pop, which you’ve probably heard before, but done differently, like you probably haven’t heard before. Done well. Done beautifully.
For fans of: Sigur Ros, Brian Eno, Phillip Glass.