Efterklang discuss the inspirations behind new album ‘Windflowers’ (stream it)
Danish group Efterklang have just released their sixth album, Windflowers, which is their first for City Slang. The trio of Mads Brauer, Rasmus Stolberg and Casper Clausen made it with contributions from Indrė Jurgelevičiūtė, Bert Cools, Øyunn and Christian Balvig, and it finds them blending effervescent synthpop with their emotive, expansive, orchestral sound, while exploring themes of hope and change. It's a lovely album and you can stream it below.
We asked Efterklang if they could tell us a little about the inspirations behind Windflowers, and Mads, Rasmus and Casper obliged, each offering up two examples, complete with commentary. Their list includes everything from Lee Scratch Perry and Laurie Anderson to podcasts, cities and more. Read it below.
EFTERKLANG - INSPIRATIONS BEHIND NEW ALBUM WINDFLOWERS
Hanging out with Audiophiles podcast
I like listening to podcasts on my commute to the studio on my bicycle. It is a nice way of getting my head ready for work by focusing on something different. When I found Hanging out with Audiophiles, it was a bit like coming home. I have been a fan of Jamie Lidell’s music since listening to Multiply in 2005 and it is such a joy to listen to his audio experiments and his conversations. Is it tech-y and esoteric? Yes at times and that is why i love it, but learning about other people's processes and out-views is so valuable and I am very grateful this podcast exists.
Laraaji, Vision Songs vol.1
In april 2020 I would walk to the studio. The streets were empty and the weather was crisp but so sunny, and this album was in my ears every day - a sort of walking meditation / healing.
Laurie Anderson’s Norton Lectures for Harvard University
I’m a huge fan of Laurie Anderson’s work, in all its shapes and forms. I love how elaborate she is, branching and breaking down genres and entire artforms. In this series of lectures for Harvard University she’s working with the livestream format, greenkey, music and most of all storytelling. Every episode has a theme; the forest, the river... while mixing her own life, stories and philosophy into the show. There are three new episodes this autumn, with a limited showing.
Lee Scratch Perry
At the studio in Møn, Denmark, where we recorded the album, there was an old tennis court, which was an awesome escape / break from the studio and from work. Mads and I played a bunch while listening to Lee Scratch Perry vast catalogue of productions, like ‘Revolution Dub’ i.e. which goes well with the tennis playing and while being an unexpected inspiration. Such a beautiful reminder of the glorious rough edges of a production.
Mads & Casper
A few weeks into lockdown spring 2020 my two dear bandmates started writing and experimenting in each of their small studios in Copenhagen and Lisbon. Almost daily they would upload a new idea to our shared folder in the “cloud." I listened to all of it with great curiosity and it was truly inspiring to hear their many ideas spawning in so many different directions. In my head while listening I would think of a potential bassline or I would imagine where the sketch could end up with more songwriting, orchestration and production. A few months later in June 2020 we met up in a residential studio in the Danish countryside to work on new music together. Our first approach was simply to try and get a collective overview and feel of all the demos, sketches and raw song ideas. This task took several days of just listening. There were hours and hours of sound. Throughout the years and for each process of making an album, I get most of my inspiration from Mads & Casper. I find them both to be creative geniuses and I love making music with them.
Walking in Copenhagen and on Møn
I find focused listening hard. To just sit down and only listen to the music. I quickly get distracted and it bothers me. My solution is to walk. I have walked so many hours during the making of this album. I have walked while listening to sketches, demos, alternative versions, rough cuts, mixes and finally I have walked trying out many different tracklists for the album. When I walk my body and part of my brain is occupied with the act of walking. This creates a distraction free space for my music brain to listen more focused and deep. Most of the times I would walk in the morning. I would drop off my daughter in kindergarten and then put on my headphones and walk areas of Copenhagen where I usually don’t go. Exploring the city and the music at the same time. In the studio, on the island of Møn, where we recorded most of the album I would often wake up before the two others. Then I would start the day with a long walk while listening to what we had created or recorded the night before.