On June 17th, Brooklyn indie-rock trio The Antlers will release their fifth studio album, Familiars, their first on ANTI- Records in the U.S., and their second on Transgressive Records in the UK. This record revisits some of the same themes as 2009's Hospice, and you can stream it above.
The Antlers broke through in 2009 with their phenomenal, emotionally raw, chilling concept album, Hospice, about the death of lead vocalist Peter Silberman's friend. When a band makes an album of that quality, they have set a standard that can be very difficult to live up to. Well, with Familiars The Antlers have proven that they can make a record at that level, by still keeping some of the best parts of Hospice but adding new elements that makes Familiars stand out on its own.
Familiars opens with "Palace," a track that does a great job setting the pace for the rest of the album to come. It is over 5 minutes long, and the rest of the album follows suit, as all the songs range between the 5 and 8 minute range. As the song begins, it introduces soft, delicate piano and synthesizers that sound like chimes before the trumpet comes in. All these instruments play a pivotal part throughout the album to create a dream-like atmosphere throughout. A majority of these instruments are provided by Darby Cicci, with Michael Lerner on all the percussion. Silberman's stirring falsetto brings out a subtle emotional intensity, and works with the pace of the song so it doesn't ever feel meandering.
The sound of the trio is fleshed out with cello, provided by Brad Arnold, Timmy Mislock on Guitar, and Andrew Dunn and Jon Natchez providing trombone, with Natchez also contributing euphonium, tuba and saxophone to the record. All these extra personnel create a rich and full sound throughout the work.
The following tracks on the album maintain the opening track's beauty. The songs all include swells and softer moments, and Silberman varies his vocal delivery enough, moving into a lower register on occasion. This keeps the listener involved in his lyrics, which call back to Hospice but from a different perspective. Here, he still deals with loss, but it isn't as fresh. He allows himself to think about the past, about death, but also move on into the future. The Antlers continue their trend of creating stunning albums that create an emotional response for the listener. While Hospice brought listeners in on his deep pain and suffering, Familiars soothes them, creating a calming experience and giving them a feeling of closure.
For more information on The Antlers, including news, music and tour dates, check out their Zumic artist page.
The Antlers Familiars Tracklist
1. Palace - 5:38
2. Doppelgänger - 7:05
3. Hotel - 5:01
4. Intruders - 5:25
5. Director - 6:14
6. Revisited - 7:42
7. Parade - 5:14
8. Surrender - 6:16
9. Refuge - 4:57