Efterklang: Springer

The first thing fans of Tripper, Efterklang's sterling 2004 outing, should know is that Springer isn't an EP of new material designed to tide listeners over until the group's next album (planned for 2006). Instead, it's a strategic re-issue by Leaf of 2003 material released on the Copenhagen group's own tiny Rumraket label. But don't interpret that to mean that Springer is comprised of half-baked left-overs; its five songs hold up fine next to Tripper and, frankly, the EP's material sounds much like the album's; one already hears clear traces of Múm, Sigur Rós, and even Godspeed in Efterklang's grandiose sound.

The delicate keyboard patterns and scurrying patter that begin “Kloy Gyn” immediately suggest a kinship with Múm. A stately, almost classical feel is complemented by a hushed duet of male and female voices but then the song, bolstered by a haunting keyboard figure and drums, escalates dramatically to a dense climax. Minimal piano chords and horns then coax “Antitech” into life with a soft male vocal deepening the song's emotional impact before it too exits with a majestic coda. Amidst clouds of hazy noise, ambient piano motifs anchor “Redrop,” a vocal dirge that's more than a little reminiscent of Sigur Rós while anthemic Godspeed guitars give the melancholy piano melodies of “Bright” a powerful boost; more a spacey soundscape than a song, the closing instrumental “Filmosonic XL” departs noticeably from the other four. Given the sonic and compositional similarities between Springer and Tripper, one might better regard the thirty-one minute EP as a natural complement to the enchanting full-length as opposed to a dress rehearsal.

June 2005