While it seemed that the release of their most recent album just a little over a month ago wasn’t garnering them much buzz around the Internet, The Antlers still lined up a sold out show at the Parish for a Sunday night. They brought along Montreal’s Thus Owls to open a night full of enchanting waves of sound and powerful lead vocals all around. Read on for more after the jump.
If you haven’t already heard, The Antlers are back: they’ve shared with us a new single and music video, “Palace,” and have announced that their follow up to 2012’s phenomenal Undersea EP will be Familiars, scheduled to be released June 17th. The track features some of the majestically sweeping horns that we came to know and love on that previous release, of course accompanied by Peter Silberman’s indistinguishable vocals that seem to harken back to the emotional power that cut us to pieces on Hospice. It’s a stunning track that makes me anxious to hear what this band has in store for what will be their fifth full length release.
Listen to “Palace” and watch the mini-film it is set to, directed by Hana Tajima, Here
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.
Well, it’s taken us a few days to get over our various illnesses, hangovers, bruised ribs, and what have you, but we’ve compiled our list of who we thought did the best job at ACL this year. For me, I feel sort of underwhelmed by the whole event, but I know I caught some good stuff. Read on for our list.
Back in 2009, this band first made their way to the top of the Indie-scene with the release of their stunning album, Hospice, which graced the sound systems of many with its emotionally progressive lyrics and cathartic sound. With the release of Burst Apart, it feels as though this band has already been around for a long time, despite it only being their sophomore effort. While not as pressing as their last, this second release from the band shows appropriate growth for The Antlers.
On Hospice, they reminded me a bit of another Brooklyn band, The National, in their dark and somewhat dreary lyrics. Now, on this album, they seem to be a tad more focused on the aesthetic aspects rather than just the lyrics. The approach feels more ethereal and vague, giving out the sense of maturity and complexity. I’m not saying this band gave up their narrative writing in exchange for a smoother record. Rather, it’s just not as prevalent on this work. Take “I Don’t Want Love,” the opening song, for example: the sweeping guitars and the half falsetto of Peter Silberman flowing over the top of methodic drum beats. There is still that desire to throw away all emotionally caustic elements, but it simply enveloped inside the wail of the arching guitar; it’s a great opener for The Antlers.
They follow up their opener with “French Exit,” on which the sound transitions to an almost danceable beat. The bass resounds heavier, accompanied by some electronic elements to boot to make for a head-bobbing and foot tapping experience, which is not what one would quite expect from this band. After they follow this with “Parentheses,” the single from this album, The Antlers keep doling out hit after hit.
On numbers like “Rolled Together” you start with some ultra faint guitar drizzling in, and once again the strange, and oddly high-pitched wails of Silberman. They build upon themselves in this one; guitars trade places with the vocals until they mix and become one cohesive wave of elegance. They finish with “Putting The Dog To Sleep,” which sounds as dark as the title denotes. Silberman asks someone to “prove to me I’m not going to die alone,” and you can feel the demons that plague this man transmitted through his captivating lyrics.
Sonically, this band is quite strange. If you separated all of the elements that this band has and isolated them, they would sound weird and moody. However, when together, they weave into a blanket of comfort that is able to convey all sorts of feelings and release. I find it odd that The Antlers would release this now, one the brink of summertime, when it would have been the perfect late fall/early winter jam. Regardless, it’s an excellent work, worthy of listening at anytime of year.
The Antlers are a band who have grown in leaps and bounds over the last year or so. This new found fame is thanks in large part to the band’s critically acclaimed LP of last year Hospice. Since that release, Antlers have been touring like mad in the US and abroad to make a name for themselves and their music. The band was originally created in 2006 as a solo project for Peter Siberman who later recruited himself a band to tour and record with. You’ll have a few chances to check out The Antlers during SXSW and you won’t want to pass up that chance. Trust me. We were also luckily enough to speak briefly with leading man/founder Peter Siberman about his band. You can find that full interview after the jump.