Bands should evolve. Each album should exhibit a new angle, a progression from the previous one. That is the test of all great bands ever since The Beatles and The Beach Boys competed to trump the other with their latest batch of tunes.
Efterklang have evolved. Their new record certainly progresses from their previous releases. What was special about Tripper, Under Giant Trees and Parades was this indefinable magic – an enigmatic beauty. The songs seemed as if they had been plucked out of the air by some mysterious pixies and stitched together to form these mystical pieces of vinyl.
The irony of the album title, Magic Chairs, is that Efterklang’s progression seems to involve losing the magic that their previous records were jampacked with and sounding more like an actual band. Unfortunately for Efterklang, sometimes that band is Coldplay.
Over the last few years, Efterklang have felt like a band out on their own, forging a very singular world, most unlike any other bands out there. But here, Efterklang feel like a band trying to fit in. That’s not to say that Magic Chairs is a bad record – it certainly isn’t. It’s just that you can’t help but expect more from them. -I Was Playing Drums’, with its booming bass, military drum rolls and piano stabs, does contain that strange beauty which one would expect from an Efterklang release and so stands out as the obvious highlight amongst a bunch of mediocre songs.