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The Copenhagen Stomp 

Wednesday, Mar 3 2010
Next to their Swedish counterparts, Danish bands have been underrepresented in the recent outpouring of Scandinavian music into the world at large. But then Efterklang got signed by 4AD late last year, so there may be hope yet. Named for a Danish word roughly translating as “reverberation,” the Copenhagen group is at its core a quartet and yet tours as at least an eight-piece. That doubling in size is necessary to match the sweep of strings, horns, and other layers heard on recordings. Orchestral flourishes aside, there’s both a crisp backbone and experimental twitchiness to the band’s 4AD debut, Magic Chairs. Splashy electronics factor in as much as billowing harmonies and the fleshy falsetto of multi-instrumentalist Casper Clausen, who approaches a yodel at times. Delivered in English, his lyrics offer uplifting imagery that informs the band’s symphonic pomp. Speaking of which: The band documented a live rendition of its 2007 album, Parades, with the Danish National Chamber Orchestra for a CD and DVD set last year. But don’t accuse Efterklang of outsized ambition; in fact, Magic Chairs achieves a comforting intimacy. Even the songs’ puzzle-pop mechanics don’t distance the listener, but rather move one to peer closer at every sleek surface.

Tartufi and VIR open.
Mon., March 15, 9:30 p.m., 2010

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Doug Wallen


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