After the release of Tripper and One-Sided Lp Efterklang made a welcome return in April 2007 with a magical re-introduction to their sound - the release of Under Giant Trees, a strictly limited and now sold out edition five-track mini-album in deluxe packaging. The mini album is still available digitally.
Recorded in the band’s own studio, the evolution of Under Giant Trees was somewhat unconventional. The five pieces developed as a way for the band to add variety to their sets while touring their debut album Tripper. Unexpectedly, the new songs emerged as firm favourites for both band and audience.
Returning to Copenhagen at the close of 2005, Efterklang’s five core members set to work recording the foundations of these new songs, with a view to this stand-alone release. Extra vocals, brass and strings were added, with Edda and Hildur (from Icelandic quartet amiina) recording further violin parts. Using musicians who had performed as part of the touring unit, the idea was to capture the songs as they had been played live, retaining the free spirit of their origin. These were uncharted waters for Efterklang, who usually create songs in the studio as they record.
The results are mesmerising – at once vibrant, otherworldly, poignant and panoramic. Opener ‘Falling Horses’ was the first track on Under Giant Trees to be written, evolving into one of the most grandiose, evocative songs Efterklang have yet created. ‘Himmelbjerget’, translated as ‘sky mountain’ in Danish, refers to innocent memories of a gigantic, fantastical Danish mountain which they later discovered was just 147 metres tall. ‘Hands Playing Butterfly’ is perhaps the simplest song they’re ever written – stripped to the bare elements of Efterklang’s signature sound, yet no less affecting for it, it is a beautiful, tender, tranquil piece of music. Like some ancient Danish drinking song, ‘Towards The Bare Hill’ is restless and energetic, while ‘Jojo’ originates from a particular fascination with harps and koras, and is a fittingly dramatic end to the disc.
The title Under Giant Trees refers to songs that are seen by the band as “trees we have planted, watered, nursed”. Now these vital, blossoming trees – an amalgamation of a thousand tracks, ideas, attempts and re-attempts, processes, drama and history - stand for themselves as the band (and the listener) lay beneath, watching them mature for a fruitful life of their own.
Under Giant Trees will be released worldwide as a strictly limited edition of 4,500 embossed, individually numbered CDs in deluxe card packaging with four ‘puzzle cards’, and a limited edition of 1,200 individually numbered copies on white vinyl. It will also be available for download.
2007 looks set to be a particularly prolific year, as Efterklang release both this mini album and a second full-length, not to mention a world tour extending into 2008. The five pieces on Under Giant Trees were recorded concurrently with the core of the new album.
Plan B Magazine "three albums packed into five exhaustingly stirring songs"
Drowned In Sound 9 of 10 stars "It’s music to witness the dawning of new ages and the end of days as we know them, music to lose all perspective on and to fall into like a first love."
Uncut Magazine 4 of 5 stars "Intimately Immense interludes from the Danish IMAXimalists"
DJ MAG 4,5 of 5 stars "Essential"