In the past half decade, the Antlers have carved a nice little space for themselves in the indie rock world. From the emotionally devastating album Hospice to the horn enthused chilled tones of recently released album Familiars, the group has rewarded those who are patient enough to listen through their intricate and methodically built up arrangements with some truly unique music.
New album in hand, the trio (plus an additional musician) took their live show to a sold out Mod Club on Friday night. Consisting of mostly material from their latest album Familiars, the Antler’s set on Friday introduced us to the dream like rock nature of their new record. As with all Antlers songs, all the new material were laid out in slow, ever building arrangements. If theres ever a band that really goes by their own pace, it’s The Antlers. The new material, which lacks the emotional weight of their previous albums, still sounded good, and the inclusion of the trumpet to their music added a new wrinkle to their previous sound and is a good indication that the group is exploring new sounds with each album. Always a good sign.
As always, the crowd (myself included) was just a little more excited for the back catalog portion of the concert and the opening notes of the track Sylvia was met with particular delight. Pete Silbermann has one of the best voices in indie rock today, and it is amazing to see how he can switch from sounding like an angel to a man who sounds like he is at his most desperate in a matter of moments. Something about the Antler tracks just resonates with people that most other bands cannot achieve. I don’t know how to explain it. If you can describe the Antlers music, you can say they are a band that plays their tracks with no wasted notes. The way that the band plays their songs make it seem every chord, drum beat, word and note seems all part of a carefully constructed madness. A truly excellent live performance, even if they didn’t play Two.
There’s nothing better than two things I love bleeding together. Enter The Antlers’ Drift Dive. The newly released single off the upcoming EP Undersea, set for release July 24th, and currently available for pre-order. Drift Dive is a melodic and dreamy track with soft vocals. The Antlers are masters of themed music, as you could probably tell by the acclaimed album Hospice, which still brings tears to my eyes and tears to many around me when seen live. I’m actually an avid scuba diver, and listening to this track makes me think of being in the water on a dive, floating along with the fish. So kudos Antlers. Not sure if you’re divers as well, but you’ve captured the experience beautifully in song.
Toronto – Two years can mean a lot these days. For a band that has enjoyed any level of hype, it can spell catapulting success or cast virtual amnesia amongst today’s fickle youth. That is, if you don’t give them a reason to remember you.
In the case of The Antlers, no one has worked harder to stay in our memory banks. It seems that their non-stop touring of Hospice has worked, which leads me to believe that Frenchkiss is a better label than most, and that their agent is doing his job in terms of getting them dates and selling out shows. When we first met them in 2009, they were opening for Frightened Rabbit, and as predicted, have become a legitimate opener in their own right.
I’m pleased to announce that their sophomore effort Burst Apart has very much cemented them as the real deal. The new songs sound comparitavely flat now, and I’m happy there was a new (and much needed) energy injected into the show from the new release. Ricky will disagree with me here, but I felt the slowed down parts of Two and Bear felt like uncomfortable inertia.
Fortunately for us, the vast majority of the show featured some impressive sonic guitars, presence-commanding keyboard (their keyboardist has really kicked it up a few notches), and wailing castrato vocals done well. Frenchkiss label mates Passion Pit should be taking notes from young Peter Silberman.
Parentheses – Burst Apart
Kettering – Hospice
No Widows – Burst Apart
I Don’t Want Love – Burst Apart
French Exit – Burst Apart
Rolled Together – Burst Apart
Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out – Burst Apart
Bear – Hospice
Hounds – Burst Apart
Putting the Dog to Sleep – Burst Apart
Two – Hospice
Corsicana – Burst Apart
Wake – Hospice
Toronto – I saw The Antlers three times last year – opening up for the Editors, at SXSW and opening up for the National at Massey Hall. Needless to say, I am a large fan of their depressing wall of sound music. I didn’t have them slated for my initial SXSW schedule because I thought they were doing that relentless touring thing and that they were still touring for their excellent major label debut album, Hospice.
Luckily, I was wrong (seems to happen all the time) and the Brooklyn trio are back with a new record, entitled Burst Apart. The record is due to drop May 10th off Frenchkiss Records. I, for one, am extremely excited about it and hope for lead singer Peter Silberman’s sake that it’s not as much of a downer as the previous one was. The Antlers will be premiering their record as part of NPR’s showcase at The Parish in Austin on March 17th at 4:00pm. They’ll also be playing many other sets. Here are all the set information
Wed, March 16 @ 12:00am: Frenchkiss Showcase
The Parish – 214 East 6th St
w/ The Dodos, Young Man
Thurs, March 17 @ 4pm: NPR Party
The Parish – 214 East 6th St
w/ Tune-Yards, The Joy Formidable, Colin Stetson
Friday, March 18 @ 7pm: Sennheiser Party (<- any chance of free headphones?)
The Stage on Sixth – 508 E. 6th St
w/ The Luyas