The colourful, and playful nature of the cover is like the sounds heard on this album by Efterklang. It’s busy. There are buildings of all shapes and sizes. Nothing seems orderly, yet together as a village, it stands, and somehow works. There are all kinds of wacky orchestral instruments, voices layered and arranged in unorthodox ways, but it all comes together in a coherent, refreshing way that complement each other wonderfully.
The interweaving of pathways that lead to unknown areas, new heights and lows is like the structure of the songs. There aren’t any typical verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, etc roadmaps here. It just goes and goes, perpetually unwinding like Alice in Wonderland, ending up in strange, new places, feeling lost, but curious and intrigued.
Third track, Horseback Tenors feels like an expedition through a great part of this city with the ever growing build, which explodes magnificently then quickly debris down to a low, and into the depressing, but beautiful, slow piano ballad, Mimeo. Even within such a colourful and happy looking village, there’s always an escapable dark shadow just around the corner, which are literally expressed by empty, perhaps bottomless black holes in the ground representing the lowest of the low.
Much like our world there are different types of people in this world on the cover as well. Each of them perhaps with their place in the social spectrum, they do look better dressed as the stairs climb higher. Both the music and art of Elfterklang’s Parades evokes all kinds of thoughts and emotions within the listener. Whether it’s the dizzying arrangements, the ever unwinding story, or the colourful pictures, like a good adventure film, you cannot turn it off. You’ll be asking yourself, where is this going, how will this end and why do I care?
– Review by Bag