In the winter of 2020 I became gripped by the musical creations from artists from or with Scandinavian decent, the music has some incredible sonics which I believe are so region specific they cannot be created or even replicated elsewhere. The pinnacle of this musical journey was discovering Efterklang who musically blew me away too levels I have not felt before. EK front man Casper Clausen is back with a sophomore solo project. This album creates a unique soundscape of which paints a very vivid image of the towns of which he grew up and presides by in Denmark, this album is densely packed with a feeling of content and leisurely pace to life.
Sonically this album gives tracks a lot of time to develop within them self and to slowly build up layer after layer to a blissful musical experience. if you like swooping and cushioning musicianmanship, you have found the right place. Each song has a lot to process in terms of layered instruments and ambience yet you do not feel lost or confused, it just adds for a calming and relaxing experience. The only song that counters that is the intro which becomes jarring and takes too long to ‘warm up’ in my opinion, an intro is of paramount importance so this flaw is pretty substantial and the album would be near on faultless otherwise. EK are famed for some of the most jaw dropping visceral experiences, despite only being the work of casper this album still is very hard to fault with the quality: less impressive feats of instrumentation yet quality wise they are sounds made to stun.
Lyrically this album is very clever as these songs are made to create a soundscape and complex lyrics would in fact destroy such great creation, lyrics are in their simplest form and the voice is used more as a tool than a form to make a narrative or poem. The most fitting vocal performance is for the song ‘little words’, soft and swooping vocals. The only song made with more complex vocals is the penultimate song that is used to highlight the feature of development of Denmark and human civilisation.
The cover remains simplistic, like the prior record featuring a depiction of casper. This album its a haunting representation of casper using blocky form of painting. Artistically it is impressive but after knowing what casper looks like it is an unsettling image.
Overall, I can see myself frequenting to this album when I’m in a whole of Scandinavian music. Id rather listen to an album by Efterklang if I am completely honest but I can sure see myself coming back on a semi regular time base. And as it comes to AOTY I’m unsure where this will finished, I love it but I’m more content and impressed by this album than stunned, many albums will come above this record and it’s only the second week of new music this year 50 to go. I Fear that this length of time is far too long to push away and loose this ethereal release in a wealth of talent.