by: Efterklang

It's easy, simple, and at this point downright redundant to point out how an Icelandic act like Sigur Rós mimics the icy mountains of its frozen home. But if you've ever hitchhiked across an Alps plateau in the middle of the night, with the slightest shade of dark and darker separating the hills and the sky, then you know that Tripper, by the Danish ten-piece ensemble Efterklang, would have been the perfect soundtrack. In this place, the minimal hush of objects is so large that their very existence vibrates. Efterklang take that hush and decorate it with male and female vocals, whispered so as to not awake the sleeping glaciers. Barely perceivable electronic cells sit near absolute zero, as if left frozen on the ice banks of Mars. You can even hear the melodic sound of you breath's water molecules crystallizing to ice inside your nose. String arrangements by Iceland's Amina Ensemble reinforce the link with similar Arctic acts, but they also give the sole indication of some warmth and light out there after six months in the dark. It's not all nature's wonders and northern lights. People live in those mountains, too. ~ Joshua Glazer

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