Published Sep 25, 2019There's bound to be at least one person who initially mistakes the first few bars of Efterklang's latest album, Altid Sammen, as the work of Iceland's Sigur Rós. But they would be mistaken — it's simply the sound of the Denmark trio, comprised of childhood friends Casper Clausen, Mads Brauer and Rasmus Stolberg, singing in their mother tongue for the first time.
Altid Sammen is Efterklang's first new material in seven years since 2012's Piramida. Having taken a number of years to explore other creative ventures, such as forming the band Liima with touring drummer Tatu Rönkkö and cowriting and performing an opera as part of the Copenhagen Opera Festival, the group reunite for what is arguably their most cohesive album to date.
Stripped of the usual grandeur that accompanies most Efterklang releases, Altid Sammen is an intimate study and quiet contemplation of the bonds that hold us together. While sung in Danish, Clausen's voice transcends the boundaries of language to deliver a truly moving melancholic performance. Opening track "Vi er uendelig," as well as "I dine øjne" and "Hænder der åbner sig," are prime examples of the intense yearning and emotive notes infused into his melodies.
"Altid Sammen's songs are about belief and togetherness," says Clausen in the press release. "Not in a religious way — none of us are believers of a defined religion. The words are searching for meaning in intimate relationships, in nature, in death and eternity. The bonds we create; to gather, hold hands, sing or share a moment together. We're all connected, across nations, age, sex and gender. We come together with all of our backgrounds, and we move apart in all sorts of directions, always together."
Heavily inspired by collaborations with Antwerp's Baroque Orchestration X (B.O.X.) and other likeminded artists at the 2018 Berlin PEOPLE Festival, Altid Sammen is a sonic exploration of unique instrumentation that adds to the rich tapestry of Efterklang's canon. (4AD)