Efterklang – Piramida
Efterklang’s intrepid ambition is perhaps their defining characteristic, as evidenced by fourth album Piramida’s titular birthplace: an abandoned mining facility in Svalbard. Decamping to the frozen archipelago for nine days, the Danish trio collected various field recordings, from which they built Piramida’s base – rusted iron struck like xylophone bars; birds and air taped and appropriated.
It’s a severe environment from which to draw inspiration – a rocky landscape containing more polar bears than people – and the result is a sombre and gelid piece at odds with the charm and warmth of past releases. But repeated close listens restart the record’s heart, as it shivers off detachment to reveal an exquisite elegance. Caspar Clausen’s vocals sit clearer in the mix than ever, deepened a tone and evocatively pensive, while tracks like Apples demonstrate a typically opulent breadth of instrumentation. Though possibly their least straightforwardly enjoyable album, Perimida is a distinct and expertly-accomplished advancement of the Efterklang sound.