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Magic Chairs CD
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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
1. Modern Drift
3. I Was Playing Drums
6. Full Moon
7. The Soft Beating
8. Scandinavian Love
9. Mirror Mirror
10. Natural Tune
Efterklang’s third long-player opens with a song so exquisite, so alluring of textural depth and enveloping of divine ambience, that all else fades away. Tunnel vision of the senses, peripheries blurred and spiralled into a Turner-style canvas-drama on the cornea. It’s intoxicating, Modern Drift, a song that stills the rush of a modernity that structures its time around the comparative triviality of necessity. It’s exemplary escapism. It’s where this record puts its first foot wrong.
Because where now? Efterklang achieved great things with 2007’s Parades, but that was a set neatly segued, a complete picture that revealed itself gradually across episodic tracks. Magic Chairs is their ‘pop’ record, relatively speaking; any narrative is fractured, the songs standalone, constructs shorn of company and context. As gorgeous as Alike, which follows the Danish outfit’s seductive opener, is, it marches to an independent beat. The cohesion of the past, which made Parades so magical and saw several critics acclaim it as a Funeral-beater, is absent. As such, Magic Chairs feels like a comparative regression, devolution where its makers could have soared from the heavens to realms wholly otherworldly.
But, should Parades mean nothing to you, this makes for a superb introduction to one of the world’s most uniquely-minded bands. Where other ‘indie’ acts stick a violin atop a standard-issue rock-stomper and call it an anthem, Efterklang assemble their arrangements from classical-forged fragments. The sweep of a graceful string or brass passage is as vital to the overall cohesion of a piece as the guitars and drums, which rumble and rattle in a most wonderful unison. I Was Playing Drums is one example of this astute balancing of elements, penultimate show-stopper Mirror Mirror another; elsewhere, though, things don’t play so smoothly.
But to get too hung up on exiguous imperfections is to waste words that should be used to sing this band’s praises, because they’re absolutely worthy of recognition beyond their present profile. To see them live, the core four expanded, is mesmeric. Across Magic Chairs they exhibit a singular classiness, their composure and patience immensely admirable. It contains many moments of unquestionable gorgeousness. It’s only fault, really, is that it’s not in a Parades league.
With such a precedent set, this can’t help sounding like an exercise in consolidation, albeit an enthusiastically recommended one, rather than a significant progression. It’s focused, and superbly executed, but forgoes immersive longevity for determined immediacy. --Mike Diver
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Top Customer Reviews
with their new album 'Magic Chairs'. Ten of them in fact.
This is music unafraid to marry complexity with great
human warmth. Sounds for the heart and the mind indeed!
Strong melodic ideas expressed through a guitar,
drums, keyboards and bass core, augmented by
sensitively applied string arrangements.
Casper Clausen's fragile but hugely expressive voice
stands at the centre of these fine songs. He understands
the value of economy; the natural quality of all his
performances never sounds remotely forced or affected.
Things kick of with the spirited strains of 'Modern Drift'.
A lovely tune spun out over rolling keyboard arpeggios,
spirited percussion, limpid strings and gentle harmonies.
Mr Clausen sings like an angel.
'I Was Playing Drums' is another winning composition
which brought Arcade Fire to mind on one or two
occasions - something to do with the pulsing,
anthemic nature of the performance perhaps.
The rich multi-instrumental nature of the music of both
bands places them in not dissimilar sonic territory.
The handclaps and chanting at the beginning of 'Raincoats'
sets the scene for one of the project's most affecting
ideas. The high-flying flute contributes a folksy element
totally in accord with the pounding pagan percussion.
'Full Moon' immediately found a place in my
hairy heart as I am sure you can imagine!
A mysteriously moody song brilliantly enhanced
by the distant choral commentary.
'The Soft Beating' is a simply beautiful song.
Final track 'Natural Tune' is just what it purports to be.Read more ›
It's an interesting album whose chief features come in the form of its rather dense layers of instruments and vocals coupled with a nice sense of rhythmic counterpoint. There is quite a lot to the sound here. Guitars, pianos, precussion, layers of vocal harmony, even strings curl around the songs to produce some very beautiful music. This cocktail should lead you to conclude this is a rather heavy sound but the actuality is the complete opposite. There is a lightness to the music which shuffles and ripples along creating a very beautiful whole.
This is another example of the prevailing trend for music which seems to take as much of its cue from the classical. A cursory listen to "I Was Playing Drums" or "Modern Drift" could lead you to conclude that these could well have found a home on Heartland by Owen Pallet. Yet comparisons of this type detract from this being more of a rock than a clssical album. The rest of the album follows a more conventional rock format (although rock is a rather strong word to describe it). "The Soft Beating" could, in the hands of any one of a number of Efterklang's contemporaries have been a regulation indie song.
The likes of "Scandinavian Love", "Mirror, Mirror", "Raincoats" and "The Soft Beating" illustrate that this is a band looking to think outside the indie rock box.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I admit it took me a while and a good few listens to get into this record. However once I started listening closely, it all came into focus. Read morePublished on 21 Jun. 2011 by M. A. Fraser
Nice music a cross between cold play & bjork and judy tzuke and just themselves.
there are maybe one or two tracks I'm not so keen on the rest are awesome I listen to it... Read more