Published Sep 17, 2010Recent signees to the legendary 4AD label, Efterklang happily performed a fine assortment of selections from across their increasingly impressive catalogue, favouring their newly released and most pop-oriented record Magic Chairs. It was easy to tell this Copenhagen collective was close, and not just by the fact they managed to clown car seven musicians on the humble Media Club stage. They were a tight unit, still seeming to enjoy each other's company after nearly a decade of performing together.
Lead singer Casper Clausen and bassist/guitarist Rasmus Stolberg beamed contented smiles despite a plethora of up-and-down level adjustments and a little line noise. The Danes were so charming and humble that Casper managed to keep the vox popule firmly in his grasp even after he committed the sin of announcing his joy of playing in the United States (perhaps he got his Vancouvers mixed-up).
Throughout their set, they proved that the constant level adjustments were worth it. The violin of Peter Broderick in the back corner still came through to add its unique timbre to the band's rich and diverse aural tapestry, even with the sounds of drums, bass, guitar, keys, sounds effects and loops, trumpet, and added percussion such as tambourines and Clausen playing the air conditioning vent attached to the ceiling with a set of drumsticks.
Backing up Clausen's vocals was a consistent swell of two, three, and four part harmonies, as their sound filled the space perfectly, leading to several waves of audience-led synchronized clapping. Their rolling bass lines were noticeably more bouncy and funky than those heard on their more distant and slightly wistful records, even through their intermittently odd time signatures. The opening track and first single from Magic Chairs, "Modern Drift" was especially moving in the live setting.