One full-length CD and a clutch of mini-albums into their career, Denmark's Efterklang quintet has the power to leave reviewers gasping for the oxygen of a grammar by which to describe their wonderfully evocative music. Actually, it's no biggie. This is a band that thinks it's an orchestra, and a pretty fine one at that.
Under Giant Trees offers five tracks, running to just under half an hour. In that short space of time, a receptive listener will be plucked up like Dorothy in the whirlwind and transported to a musical Oz where industrial electronics, loops, scratches, glitches and found sounds mingle with minimalist guitar riffs, brass, strings, orchestral percussion and solemnly whispered vocals to create bittersweet soundscapes so powerfully visual that it is damn near impossible not to find movies playing in your head as you listen.
What those movies are depends, of course, entirely on you. Check Efterklang's website and you'll find, for example, that track two, "Himmelbjerget," translates as "sky mountain" in Danish, and “refers to innocent memories of a gigantic, fantastical mountain which they later discovered was just 147 metres tall.” I don't get that at all. I get vast swarms of multi-hued flying insects that merge and dance against an ever-darkening blue sky as the sun goes down. Whatever you get, it will probably be magical because with Efterklang, to a very large extent, you hear what you want to hear and you see what you want to see.