Efterklang - Under Giant Trees [Leaf Records - 2007]This new five track ep from the fabulous Efterklang finds them making their sound more lush and epic, but at the same time more intimate and sad. I guess the best way to try and describe their distinctive sound is a meeting glitchy electronics, classical textures, show tunes & pop- all with an epic and almost prog feel to it, but that doesn’t really cover it.
You have to hear them to truly understand and appreciate the amount of different sounds and elements they mix together, with each track been a rich tapestry all of its own- with inventive and original electronic beat structures meeting string orchestration, sailed over by joint male and female vocals and choirs. Piano work weave glorious melodies and brass elements swirl as careful sourced envoirmental recordings weave in and out. Really if one doesn’t even get or enjoy the music, you have to be impressed by the pure compositional and arranging skill’s of the project to make all of it flow so wonderfully together.
All of the five tracks are exceptional in their own right, but a few I’ve fallen head-over-heels with would be: Towards the bear hill- which mixers picked string elements that sound quite oriental, complex and fascinating beat patterns with a rousing chorus of male vocals. A wonderful bank of brass work sweeps in towards the end, really putting a cherry on top of it all. Then there's Hands Playing Butterfly which is an exquisite, beautiful and sad mix of electronic textures, really felt /emotional piano and violin playing- that will surely make you weep.
Another chapter in one of the most rewarding and distinctive bands around today, that really defies categorising or genre tags, there simply in a field all of their own. So do you self a favour pick up Under Giant Trees and deeply breath in it’s wonder and magic- simply umissble!. Roger Batty