The Antlers – Undersea EP
The Antlers, hailing from Brooklyn, have been making groovy tunes for some time now, but they made significant waves last year with the release of their third studio album, Burst Apart, which graced several ‘best of the year lists,’ including that of this website. That album left us all ready for more, so when the band released a new single and announced this EP a mere year after that brilliant record, it’s safe to say fans were stoked, and The Antlers do far from disappoint; Undersea immerses listeners in layers of complex sounds that you’d expect from this band, but through the lens of an underwater film noir.
On Burst Apart, we saw a dramatic shift in focus from songwriting to the overall atmosphere of an Antlers song. Yes, the songwriting was still there, but Peter Silberman’s half-falsetto crooned amidst atmospheric sounds instead of riding on the very top. This seems to be a permanent and effective change for the group, as evident on “Drift Dive,” the first track on this EP. Going along with the nautical theme as shown by the title as well as the album artwork, the track dives right in where the band left off, keeping that heavy and yet easy sound and you instantly feel like you’re swimming in cool waters of the somber horns, glossy guitars, and bubbling percussion, with Silberman’s vocals leading the way.
Frankly, all the aspects on this release work marvelously together and it’s everything you want an EP to be. There is the dedication to the deep-sea theme, but it doesn’t become boring as it could have been on a full-length album. Each song can stand alone as a sultry and sonically beautiful submarine ride of its own, but all together the four tracks add up to a twenty two and a half break from reality into the world this band has created for you. Song after song they take you deeper underwater, so that by the time you get to the fourth and final number, “Zelda,” it’s easy to find yourself engrossed in the sound, wondering how it such a heavy sound could feel like it went by so quickly, but it’s not over yet. The last number is the icing on the cake, with Silberman’s echoed voice bringing this dream of an album to a close in The Antler’s elegant sexiness.
While it seems like everyone else is furiously working to stay on top of the music scene, The Antlers have suddenly become the cool guy in the back with sunglasses on, one step ahead of the curve and I encourage them to keep doing their thing, as it’s working.