Klak Tik - The Servants (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
EAST London (via Denmark) collective Klak Tik release their second album and continue to intrigue, if not necessarily blow you away.
Recorded in part in a chapel on the rugged coastline of the Irish Sea and then embellished once they got back to a London studio, The Servants combines folk and indie elements with a leftfield touch and some orchestral flourishes.
The resulting record is a tale of two lands – one that combines the powerful nature and the freedom that came with the solitude of the church with that of the infinite, cyclical, timelines and realities of the metropolis.
If pressed Klak Tik might refer to themselves as post-folk, to be filed loosely between Grizzly Bear, Sufjan Stevens and Love with a little Crowded House thrown in.
But while some tracks, such as Kierkegaard, sometimes lack as much focus as their tighter moments, there is generally something to keep you interested (in that song’s case, the orchestral elements that embellish the finale).
For my money, though, they’re at their most disarming when keeping things a little simpler and more straight-forwardly melodic. Reborn is just a beautiful song, with sun-kissed harmonies, endless optimism, some nice horns and banjo, and a pleasant folk-rock vibe. It’s the album’s standout moment and it genuinely makes you feel good about yourself and your own special memories while listening to it – not bad for something conceived in the wake of a Tube journey among the walking dead!
It perhaps makes the arrival of Fire Souls and its more deliberate pacing, and haunted vocals, more frustrating. For while the change of pace and tempo does underline Klak Tik’s versatility, the shifts are sometimes a llittle too extreme.
Quenched Man, on the other hand, opens with a cute brass section to lend the song a carnival flavour, before settling down somewhat into a tale of tragedy that’s augmented by sweeping string arrangements and an almost sorrowful vocal. It’s very Crowded House-esque.
Elsewhere, Nympheous has an almost ethereal folk quality, complete with spome nice banjo moments and Lohengrin beguiles, complete with another brass section.
But tracks like Cool Hand Luke and Curved Mirror disappoint and closing song Landing Party suggests a breezy, brass-fueled finale before suddenly coming to an abrupt halt after 30 seconds and then rebuilding itself in slower, more experimental and much less satisfying fashion.
It’s a song that perhaps more than any other on the LP underlines the potentially polarising nature off Klak Tik’s work and this sophomore album in particular.
Download picks: Reborn, Quenched Man, Nympheous, Lohengrin