If it wasn’t for those always working people up at Brooklyn Vegan, I would never had known that Efterklang, one of my favorite Danish bands, was going to make it down to Austin for a handful of dates at SXSW. Last time I checked everyone’s favorite folktronic matadors weren’t on the mega-bill for the festival, but I guess organizers are adding dozens of bands every minute – great news for everyone that’s going.
I caught Efterklang live once when they opened for The National at their second night in Copenhagen and was absolutely entranced by their live set. With a concert line-up that pushes ten members and instrumentation that include flute, horns, and yes, even saw, Efterklang certainly displayed their capacity to create beautifully textured music. The best part of the group’s stage performance however wasn’t the breadth of the odd-ball instruments but their choral arrangements that put front-in-center the beauty of the group’s harmonized whispery voices.
On tracks like “Collecting Shields” (off of their 2004 LP Tripper), the strange combination of electro-pulsed beats in the mid section and soft vocals from the male/female duet offer an interesting and original combination. Putting you more in a Buddhist meditative state than hyped-up energetic mood, tracks like “Frida Found a Friend” and “Mirador” off of their most recent LP Parades does everything that you would expect from a band which, in English, means both remembrance and reverberation.
Most songs are created in a similar vein that will definitely serve as an excellent counter to all those noise-punk bands being showcased at the festival. Calm, soothing, and peaceful would all be appropriate adjectives when describing Efterklang’s music – something that will certainly be unique at the always bustling and bombastic SXSW. So if you are in need of taking an hour to catch your breath, you can check them out on March 19th at 11:00pm at the Habana Bar. No other “official” performances are scheduled, but they will be around Austin for most of the festival so keep your eyes peeled!