Rockin' Our Turntable: The Antlers
By Michele Lenni in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 8, 2011 4:20PM
The first time we heard about Peter Silberman's project The Antlers was when they released the lineup for the 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival. That year alone, we were inundated with releases from an army of fellow Brooklyn indie-hipster bands like Dirty Projectors, Real Estate and Bear In Heaven, and, really, we just had it up to our eyelids with that particular scene. When we had the opportunity to catch them at the Fest on that cold, rainy Saturday afternoon underneath that canopy of of tall, slender birch trees that dot the landscape of the C-Stage, we were taken a-back by the unadorned, yet complex beauty of their performance. The combination of Silberman's willowy falsetto and warm, glowing electric guitar and the rain falling ever-so-gently upon us seemed to transcend the hipster the electro-afro-beats that dominated that year's sound aesthetic.
Two years later they have released Burst Apart, the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut, and the results are no less breathtaking. It's a gorgeous record. Silberman continues to use his trademark lush falsetto as the foundation to swirling, dissonant guitars and concise rhythms. Any band with this sound will, of course, immediately draw comparisons to Radiohead and Elbow. In our opinion, this is the album that both of those bands wanted to make this year, but fell short in executing.
Song-by-song, the album reads more like a dream journal than a track list with song titles like "No Windows" and "Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out." They achieve that sense of both longing and paranoia that bands like Radiohead traditionally capitalize on within their lyrical content. Silberman's wildly visual words immediately confine us in his self-made world of wounded mania. On the album's first track, "I Don't Want Love," we are entrenched straightaway in this conflicted realm: "So if I see you again, desperate and stoned, keep your prison locked up, and I will leave my gun at home."
Burst Apart, though not a concept album like its predecessor, takes on a beautiful and profound journey. It is a mature album that is meant to be digested over several listens, and when it is, will leave you astounded with what these young men have accomplished in their short career.