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Scandinavia has long been an incubator of quirky, cool indie music – think The Whitest Boy Alive, The Tallest Man On Earth, Peter Bjorn & John. Klangstof are following a rich tradition, and even though they’re now based in Amsterdam, frontman Koen Van De Wardt’s formative years in a remote part of Norway – and the influences he absorbed – shine through in their music. But Van De Wardt employs far more than just the stylish sheen and chilled vibes of his forebearers; there are hints of the glacial grandeur of Sigur Rós, the twitchy angst of OK Computer-era Radiohead, and the falsetto harmonies of Alt-J swirled into their blissful, lush soundscapes. Klangstof’s songs are undeniably pretty, but while they sound unhurried and regal, there’s plenty going on – cosmic synths burble, delicate arpeggios swim in and out of focus, guitars are gently strummed and picked. And holding it all together is Van Der Wardt’s graceful, intricate vocals, so fragile at times they sound liable to shatter into a thousand pieces. “Atmospheric” is all too often lazily applied to any music on the slower, sadder end of the spectrum, but it’s apt here; gorgeous, delicate synth washes abound, occasionally billowing out into sky-high crescendos. In 2017, they became the first ever Dutch band to play at Coachella and took home an Edison (Dutch Grammy) for their debut record, “Close Eyes to Exit”. After extensive touring with the likes of the Flaming Lips and Miike Snow, they returned back to their Amsterdam studio to write their upcoming release which will be released at the end of this year with LA boutique label, Mind of a Genius.
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