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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Efterklang
Parades
Leaf

Rating: 9/10 ?


October 22, 2007
When I was a kid living in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, I loved escaping the mundane existence of suburbia by visiting the woods near my family's home. There I would fade into the mysteries of the trees, becoming an explorer and adventurer in a land far removed from the cul-de-sacs, backyard barbeques, and riding lawnmowers of the suburbs' blissful ignorance. There in the secluded, wooded oasis my friends and I would play our version of hide-and-seek, using the cover of the distortion created by the treed expanse to mask the location of our voices. That sound of reverberation, collections of echoes that build, linger, and then fade into the surroundings, has always fascinated me. Perhaps I favor the sound of reverb because it is a lot like life. On Parades, an album of echoes and haunting sounds that continue to linger well after the last note fades away, Efterklang has produced a sort of score for those secluded moments.

Efterklang, whose name is, in fact, the Danish word for reverberation, sprang from Als, a small island off the coast of Denmark in the Baltic Sea, near the peninsular border with Germany. Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen, and Rasmus Stolberg all hail from Als, and were joined by Thomas Husmer and Rune Mølgaard to form Efterklang in 2000. Parades is the follow-up to Tripper, the group's debut LP of 2004, which was itself a captivating mix of electronic rhythms, layered vocals, and strings. There is, however, very little electronica within the confines of Parades, the exception being minimal background sounds and a few synthesized melodies, particularly on "Him Poe Poe." Parades is a more natural album than its predecessor, the band preferring to ply their trade with real instruments rather than electronic ones. A mélange of organic instrumentation floods the album, which is populated by brass, strings, piano, woodwinds, percussion, and a cast of others. Layers of echoing vocals add to the wall of sound.

Listening to Parades is a true auditory experience, as there is a denseness and perpetual vastness to the eleven tracks. That trait no doubt owes itself to the fact that many of the tracks were recorded in large, reverb-inducing spaces: a church, bathroom, and an echo-chamber. The songs, including the standouts "Polygene," "Caravan," and "Illuminant," begin simply before stacking layers of instruments and voices towards crescendo. Like most great albums, Parades works more as a sum of its parts than it does as a collection of individual tracks, with the songs flowing past the listener like floats in a surreal parade.

With their ability to make beautiful, otherworldly music out of sounds that one might not logically pair together, Efterklang have always reminded me of Sigur Rós. Their songs are engaging, well crafted, and evocative, and will be sure to inspire nights of passion, thought, and a higher realm of consciousness. Parades is a gorgeous and flowing album that feels both remarkably large and intimate in the same moment. It's kind of like my experiences as a kid in that wood of old - wonder and familiarity around every turn, a lovely little universe all my own to explore over and over again.

Reviewed by Eric J. Morgan
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Eric J. Morgan is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Colorado. He has an orange cat named Nelson and longs for the day when men and women will again dress in three-piece suits and pretty dresses to indulge in three-martini lunches and afternoon affairs.

See other reviews by Eric J. Morgan

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