Efterklang

Under Giant Trees

by Dan Raper

9 May 2007

 

This limited edition EP (the CD is individually numbered and runs only to 4,500 copies; with 1,200 vinyl copies available as well) is sure to become treasured by those who let its shimmering beauty sink in. The 30-minute mini-album consists of five expansive tracks—three hover around the seven-minute mark—but you never want these gentle reveries to end. The range of sounds is very wide, and ranges from tinkling electronica to full orchestral minimalism. “Falling Horses” neatly builds texture over the course of its seven-minute length, moving seamlessly from orchestral wall-of-sound to guitar/brass ostinato to whispered choral vocals. The harmonic lines are so confluent you might not notice that a lot is going on. This is dense music, at once atmospheric (in the film score sense) and busy. Parts of “Himmelbjerget” recall the orchestral parts of that Guillemots album from last year; parts of “Towards the Bare Hill” Kaada’s imaginary soundtracks. But Efterklang’s never really in danger of needing comparison. Their brand of deep, emotional minimalism is entirely their own. Even on the simplest song, “Hands Playing Butterfly”, the group captures a static, serene beauty. Nobody in rock music has this patience; we’re lucky to have this group of talented musicians proffering so kindly music this considered, this quietly stunning.

Under Giant Trees

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