Magic Chairs (4AD)
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., March 19, 2010
EfterklangMagic Chairs (4AD)
Efterklang's Magic Chairs is what Arcade Fire's Neon Bible would have sounded like if it had been written for the church instead of just recorded in one. Not that this Danish quartet preaches the gospel, but its somber art-pop and disciplined chamber orchestration beckon for stained-glass treatment. The band's third LP scales back and sharpens the electronic textures and cinematic sweep that defined 2007's Parades, and the result is Efterklang's most immediate work. Opening stunner "Modern Drift" layers brisk-walking piano arpeggios around the crystalline tenor of Mads Brauer, gracefully embellished with classical ornamentation, not unlike "I Was Playing Drums," which gets help from a choir of young believers and a pendulum bass groove that pushes and pulls the song toward its climax. The staccato keyboards of "Full Moon" exude a lunar pull on par with Spoon's "The Ghost of You Lingers," while the delicate, acoustic duet "Natural Tune," spotlighting frequent contributors Peter and Heather Broderick, slowly melts like an ice sculpture. You may be seated. (Thu., 11pm, Buffalo Billiards.)
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