Rock? Jazz? Post-rock? Improv? Danish band Slaraffenland is hard to categorize but easy to listen to.
Copenhagen's Slaraffenland (the name means "land of milk and honey") builds big, imaginative soundscapes out of a rather large palette of instruments -- drums, electronics, brass, voices, guitars -- touching down in lots of genres but never quite settling. Private Cinema's most immediately accessible pieces, like "Watch Out", splice indie-rock vocals sensitivity to luminous post-rock guitar work. Yet other cuts are far more abstract and jazz-ish. Opener "Polaroids", emerges out of a haunted synthesizer meditation, its digital tones twisting sinuously into harmonies and dissonances for a full minute. Then unexpectedly, rock-like drums and guitars enter in and vocals transform the piece into pop. "You Win" brings the drums centerstage, a booming, marching band cadence grounding the sound while guitar notes ping off the four walls of possibility. Produced by Efterklang's Mads Brauer and Casper Clausen, Slaraffenland balances instrumental experimentation with sheer melodic beauty. Its abstract compositions, stuffed to the gills yet lucidly thought-out, might remind you of the Aussie post-everything ensemble, Function. Yet like Function, the band's work is so hard to classify that it might easily slip through the cracks... and that would be a shame.