the antlers

Concert Review: The Antlers, April 8, Opera House

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It’s very hard for me to believe that Hospice, The Antlers epically sad third record, is celebrating its ten year anniversary this year. It only seems like a few years ago when the trio hit the music scene with this album, yet here I was on a damp Monday night revisiting this seminal album from the Brooklyn trio. Time flies/I’m getting old.

Perhaps I’m not the only one getting old – The Antlers, perhaps realizing that their crowd were probably not 20 something indie kids anymore, opted for the super rare seated configuration at the Opera House, giving all of us with sore lower backs a reprieve from having to stand.

More likely, the reason behind the seated venue was due to the nature of the show itself. For the ten year anniversary of Hospice, The Antlers were actually playing a stripped down version of the album. Rather than plying us with a wall of sound and reverb as one would have expected, the trio sat down at the start of the show and played Hospice end to end with just a few instruments.

It was great. With the minimalist approach, the songs relied mostly on the few chords that each song has and Peter Silbermann’s voice. It’s been awhile since I revisited this album but what really caught me this time was how much the Antlers can do with just a few chords. It’s amazing how much a few well played notes can create the mood that the band was going for. This was also a fuckin’ sad album.

Ultimately, the Antlers X-factor is Pete Silberman’s voice. The man’s ability to transition from lows to highs is at the core of the Antlers’ songs and that voice has held up well in the past decade.

For me, my favorite moments were “Sylvia”, “Bear” and “Two”. “Two” is still a devastating song a decade later and not having heard it in a while, I especially respected the amazing word play that goes with that song.

A wonderful night, all in all.

Concert Review: The Antlers, Mod Club, June 27

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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.

Song Of The Day: The Antlers – Drift Dive

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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.

Concert Review: The Antlers, June 14, Mod Club

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The Antlers, Phoenix, Toronto, ON

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

The Antlers – Parentheses by Frenchkiss