Having recorded Piramida in a ghost town, its perhaps unsurprising that one of the tracks on Efterklang‘s fourth album was entitled “The Ghost.” A droning composition with bells, brass, and an echoing percussive background, it’s reminiscent of some of the more ambient work of groups like Underworld and Radiohead, which is to say that it’s unique and beautiful.
Efterklang can hear dead people, or so it seems. Perhaps that’s why the Danish post-rock ensemble visited Pyramiden — a ghost town on the Arctic Norwegian island of Spitsbergen — to create its new album of similar name.
At the abandoned Russian settlement, its members wandered a landscape of streams and mountains, recording the sounds of seabirds, footfall, and rushing wind. In the studio, they added the ethereal vocals of a choir and the chime-like peals of a glass-bottle collection. Whether or not these sounds are messages from another realm, they summon haunting melodies and shiver-inducing rhythms. It makes perfect sense, considering that “efterklang” means remembrance and reverberation.
A recap of the most exciting, and not so exciting, events of this year’s SXSW including some of their favorite artists and a few that just didn’t cut it.