Slaraffenland: We’re On Your Side

Slaraffenland
We’re On Your Side
(Hometapes)

Slaraffenland is at once old and new, both dreamy and real. Primitive rhythms, some handclaps, and chant-like (yet harmonic) vocals make the five-piece band from Copenhagen sound like it was dug up from the time of some ancient civilization. Yet their music also has a complexity, arising from the intricate arrangements and abstract, electronic noise, that seems futuristic. The end result is kind of an experimental collage, an exploratory journey through the centuries, watching things happen from a distance. For instance, if you were observing the Egyptians build their pyramids from a sailing ship in the sky, you’d probably be hearing Slaraffenland all around. Maybe you could say Slaraffenland gives a new perspective of things.

Musically, the band employs a range of instruments, from soft horns and woodwinds that give it an intimate jazzy feel, to piano, percussion, and guitar that provide texture and reverberating rhythms. It has the atmospheric aura of a band like the Doves, but more hushed and drawn-out. In keeping with their name, which translates to “the Land of Milk and Honey,” Slaraffenland give off a bright and happy feel, though in a somewhat subdued, controlled way.

If nothing else, the band supplies a wealth of inspiration, with its oddly shaped rhythms that hypnotize in a lazy way. The songs all have a way of merging into each other, making it difficult to really pinpoint highs and lows. But the single “Meet and Greet” has one of the most straightforward melodies and clear vocals, held tightly together by a heartbeat-like percussion and bass line. Appropriately, Slaraffenland will be touring with the similarly unique Akron/Family, so they should feel right at home while playing songs like “Falling Out,” where they wail “I lost my head, I lost my head” to a background of lush, dissonant noise.