The evolution of the Danish band Efterklang has often been a process of paring away—first, over the course of four albums, of orchestral post-rock to something more like electronic chamber-pop; then, it seemed for a time, of the band itself. Efterklang shrank to three members and went dark for seven years after Piramida in 2012, which would have been hard to immediately top: The band had turned the crumbling structure of a former Russian mining settlement near the North Pole into a hauntingly resonant instrument to record it.
But the collaboration of vocalist Casper Clausen, bassist Rasmus Stolberg, and electronic performer Mads Brauer, all lifelong friends, continued to flourish as they created an opera with composer Karsten Fundal and released two albums as Liima with Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö. Efterklang, it turned out, was only sleeping, and it awoke fully alert with Altid Sammen in 2019.
There, the band resumed cultivating negative space and sharpening melodic form where it had left off, reupholstering their music in silken synths and soft horns, celestial patterns and ambient frost. The album showed Efterklang to still be the “front-runners in the European wing of the burgeoning indie classical movement,” as Pitchfork dubbed them years ago, though they had outgrown that category through sheer finesse and surging drama. They recently announced the October 2021 release of Windflowers, their sixth album and first for City Slang, which promises a renewed focus on the core trio’s intimate rapport.