If you happen to have frequented this here Web log much over the past couple years, it’s likely no news to you, friend, that we totally love the Danish band, Efterklang. When we first heard them a number of years ago, we were totally blown away. From their early glitch electronic days to the sprawling epic choral feel of their album, Parades, the sound was wholly new to us.

So, needless to say, we were ophidset (um…”excited” in Danish)when their frontman, Casper Clausen, agreed to e-sit down with us for a brief chat on the heels of their superb 2010 release, Magic Chairs, and mere days before their US tour.

Kindness of Ravens (KoR)—For anyone familiar with Parades or any of your previous work, Magic Chairs definitely sounds like a departure. To us, it captures Efterklang’s unique sound and song structure and concentrates it into something that’s more likely recognizable to most listeners—more accessible. Was that an intentional move or just the way things were evolving with your writing?

Casper Clausen (CC)—Well, kind of both of them in one. We wanted Magic Chairs to sound more like the live band that we’ve been for the past 2 years. Compared to our earlier work, we wanted to make a simpler album, both time- and setup-wise. We were aiming for fewer elements—choral voices, lighter instrumentation, and fewer and more focused melodies. Generally speaking, we’re always trying to move somewhere new for each album/project we do. I believe the most essential will always stay wherever we move.
KoR—Speaking of your live show, when we’ve seen you in the past, you definitely seem to have a unified style in the way you dress. As a band, you give off a bit of an ‘old-world’ feel. I think we had even heard you had your suits and such hand-made for the Parades tour. Is that true and why do feel that’s an important aspect of the presentation of your group?
CC—It’s true. My sister and I made some stage clothing for the Parades tour, sort of to combine all the people on stage. I guess we’re thinking about and discussing our stage outfits more than most bands…even though we’re wearing more or less “casual” clothing these days. I think it all comes down to the fact that we have quite a few people on the stage, and it feels both nice and right for us to visually “join forces” and make the overall look slightly more focussed.
KoR—Well, I like the resulting effect. Can you talk a little about the album art for Magic Chairs? We’re obviously always interested in the design aspect of the music industry. Hvass&Hannibal managed this one again for you, correct? Are they personal friends of yours?
CC—Yeah, the artwork for Magic Chairs is indeed made by our friends, Hvass&Hannibal (H&H). The photo was taken in the courtyard of Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen, and the idea for the cover started out with those homemade ribbons that are floating in the air in the picture. H&H have done all of our album artwork (and a lot of other things as well) for the past 5 years or so. Rasmus (far left above; bass, guitar, etc. in the band) and Nan Na (Hvass) are a couple too, and when they met, Rasmus introduced us to their work, so that’s how it all started.
KoR—Very cool. Well, in closing—and most importantly as we delve into the deep social psychology of Efterklang—can you share with us the most bizarre dream you can recall?
CC—Last night I dreamt that I was curating a big dance party, and I got this great offer from the most famous danish folk/rock singer ever, Kim Larsen. He wanted to DJ for the first time ever. But the resident DJ protested and left the party before it even started, because he didn’t liked Kim’s dj’ing…

KoR—That was ever the more bizarre once I look Kim up… Thanks much Casper for taking the time to talk with us.

This week’s Song of the Week is Efterklang’s “Alike” from Magic Chairs. You can listen to a number of other songs on their site, and be sure to catch them on tour in the US in September and early October with fellow Kindness of Ravens alumni, Buke and Gass. They’ll be in NYC to end their tour at the beginning of October with shows at Santos and Glasslands. Photo by Nikolaj Holm Møller.

Efterklang US Tour 2010:

07.09 – Montreal, CA / La Sala Rossa / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
08.09 –
Toronto, CA / Lee’s Palace / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
09.09 –
Cleveland, US / Beachland Tavern / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
10.09 –
Chicago, US / Empty Bottle / w. Buke And Gass + more / Tickets
11.09 –
Minneapolis, US / Walker Arts / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
12.09 –
Kansas City, US / Crosstown Station / supp: Buke And Gass
13.09 –
Denver, US / Hi Dive / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
14.09 –
Salt Lake City, US / Urban Lounge / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
16.09 –
Vancouver, CAMedia Club / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
17.09 –
Seattle, US / Chop Suey / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
18.09 –
Portland, US / Doug Fir / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
20.09 –
San Francisco, US / Bottom of The Hill / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
21.09 –
Los Angeles, US / Troubadour / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
24.09 –
Austin, US / Mohawk / w. Bowerbirds & Buke And Gass / Tickets
25.09 –
Frisco, TX / Oysterfest / Tickets
26.09 –
Memphis, US / Hi Tone / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
27.09 –
Atlanta, US / Earl / w: Field Music & Buke And Gass / Tickets
29.09 –
Washington, DC, US / DC9 / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
30.09 –
Philadelphia, US / Johnny Brenda’s / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
01.10 –
New York, Manhattan, US / Santos / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets
02.10 –
New York, Brooklyn, US / Glasslands / supp: Buke And Gass / Tickets