ef - We Salute You, You and You!

11 Nov 2022 - Thorsten

Cinematic Post-Rock | Pelagic Records | Release date: 04 Nov 2022 | Favorite song: Chambers

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The grandmasters are back. ef from Sweden give the people what the people need – and in these times of need and uncertainty, fear and disenfranchisement, loss and neglect there might be nothing more important than art which soothes our uneasy cores. ef are back and they are here for us.

As soon as ”Moments of Momentum” and its mellow synth-sounds gets support from some lightly sparkling piano notes one knows what has been missing these last couple of years since they played that Pelagic Fest and afterwards basically vanished from the face of the earth leaving a big gap in the hearts of the Post-Rock-community. The band from Gothenburg adds some very fine-woven vocal harmonies and with one song simply transports us into this blissful state of falling soft cushions piled underneath us, warm and fluffy.

Nevertheless, one should not think that the guys are just in it for the elegant, vast soundscapes which sometimes resemble the majestic northern lights and sometimes the blurry, sun-dried valleys of Southern Spain at the times of the madrugada, the blue hour before sunrise. ”Chambers” is such a track, drenched in fine, soft echoes with some jazzy drumming. Accompanied by some wonderful trombone and trumpet sounds the song grows and grows and grows until one can notice the Hardcore background of some of the band members. The horns have a short free jazzy moment and then the guitars swell and rise and even the vocals show that aggressiveness associated with, for example, Umeå Hardcore. The way this track is constructed, shows how masterful the guys are at creating grandiose soundscapes which have a lot more to tell than just technical perfection.

The guys also play a bit with tempi – listen to the upbeat, post-punk song ”Wolves, Obey!” which displays the vibrancy of life in our modern day and age. Maybe life in one of the modern Scandinavian cities with their interplay of a lot of people going about their business and yet also finding the time for moments of relaxation and ease in the palm of Mother Nature. When the track picks up speed again and the horns and strings (cello and violin) underline some of the structures we can hear the calm ebb and the return to the hectic side of life again. Even Niclas remarked that some of the songs and parts on this record might be some of the heaviest they have ever written, which surely says a lot for the band is gonna turn twenty next year.

Of course, having Magnus Lindberg mix and master the seven tracks ensure a certain crunch per se, but even he had to have some heavy stuff to accentuate the way he did. And being able to highlight the heaviness of the violin on a track like ”Hymn of…” in between the choir parts is surely a very interesting thing. Again on can find the symbiosis of something “heavy” and some rather “elegant” on this track – and that surely is the key element for We Salute You, You and You!: the perfect balance between harsh and nice, mellow and hard-hitting.

Whether this is a result of the covid-stricken times surrounding the resurrection of ef is not up to us to decipher; the only thing important for us is to enjoy these seven tracks which have not one superfluous moment, which are skillfully arranged and sequenced and which have so much to tell, so many battles to fight and so many pillows to provide.

The grand masters are back.