An album to enrich the mind
Efterklang grace fans with their newest release, Windflowers; this shiny, new record, breathes new air into the band’s sound. This record features vast soundscapes with mixtures of spatial swelling synths and orchestral string ensembles. Each song is glued together with reverberating, dreamy vocals that at times sew themselves between the different layers of sounds.
The Danish group came together in December 2000 in Copenhagen. Though some have left, the main core of the group is made up of Casper Clausen, Mads Christian Brauer and Rasmus Stolberg. Windflowers come in as the band’s seventh full-length album following after their 2019 release Altid Sammen. This new release brings the same beautiful tones that rise and fall found in their last albums, but this time with added synths and out-of-this-world sounds.
Starting the record, “Alien Arms” begins with a gritty yet subtle synthetic hi-hat joined by a riding bass that fills the spaces. Casper Clausen’s voice smoothly enters into the mix with a very Coldplay-type timbre. The track slowly builds with elements that come forth, like the organ that mixes in and other synthetic soundscapes. As the song breaks down and beckons, “let me into your heart,” a female voice harmonizes the main vocal, adding a lovely mixture of timbres between the voices.
“Beautiful Eclipse” plays with beautiful orchestral strings that bring emotion to the track. Like other songs on the record, “Beautiful Eclipse” only has a handful of instruments playing at one time. A persistent percussive beat holds the tempo throughout when moments of an attention-grabbing piano jumps through. Vocally, the song features a soft tone full of long-drawn-out notes, though, at times, do teeter on edge of going off-key.
Sounding like the title song for a ’90s coming-of-age movie, “Living Other Lives” slowly swells with a magical soundscape. This instrumental rise plays for the first half of the track before the vocals dreamily come in, giving a very Moby feeling. The first four minutes seem to be a continuous loop; however, the last minute becomes a different song, losing the brightness of the first half now more heavy with percussion and the vocals becoming more dominant.
Bringing the album to a close, “Åbent Sår, ” featuring The Field, is a whirling, spatial melding of different layers of synths. Once more, the string ensemble sneaks their way into the mix, adding a gentle grandeur to the song. Though, at the halfway point, the song punches the ears with a powerful outburst of droning synths and lush swells as the percussion pounds. Within the chaos, the ambient vocals seep through and swim flawlessly throughout.
Windflowers is a delicious melding of swirling vocals and dreamy outer space soundscapes sure to both soothe and enrich the ears.