Efterklang + Nightlands at Lincoln Hall | Concert preview
Danish trio’s Arctic trek informs its latest album.
Isolation and abandonment are well-worn themes in the world of indie rock, but the core trio comprising Danish act Efterklang takes it a step further. For their latest album, Piramida, Casper Clausen, Mads Brauer and Rasmus Stolberg traveled to Pyramiden, a deserted Russian mining town on an island off Norway. There they immersed themselves in the sights, sounds and sentiments that informed the LP’s beautifully stark sonic landscape and, along with Danish director Andreas Koefoed, filmed a documentary, The Ghost of Piramida, about the process.
The resulting music is a powerful encapsulation of the icy ghost town. Though Pyramiden’s empty confines are roughly 600 miles from the North Pole, Efterklang’s compositions manage to inject the album’s cool and enchanting tonality—which is most evident in its use of distorted field recordings—with moments of warmth. These come from Clausen, whose comforting voice and hopeful lyrics are largely the product of a different trip: a breakup.
In theory, that pairing of melancholic extremes and exposed emotions could prompt eye rolling. But in practice, Efterklang’s latest is a vivid interpretation of a trek through the arctic, both literal and symbolic, where only polar bears, romantics and risk takers dare to tread. The Danes have a friend in Dave Hartley, leader of dreamy synth-washed opener Nightlands, whose wistful, occasionally frenetic work is drawn from the adventures of his dreams.