Tuesday, May 10, 2011
When I first listened to the album Hospice I was all, "Beautiful music!"
After I read the lyrics I was all, "Ohhh…oh dear god."
A concept album about letting go of a cancer patient at a hospital, the Antlers' last effort was a heartrending masterpiece, as desperate and personal as it gets. How could they follow something like that?
Frontman Peter Silberman has stated that Burst Apart begins "in a pretty negative, anxious place, at arm's length — and as it progresses, it becomes warmer and more trusting," which I feel is a nice bridge from the capable-of-inducing-an-emotional-shitshow predecessor.
Without the gravitas of morbidity wafting over the songs, there is a bit more levity and life here. "Burst Apart" is lush and intricate, full of piano chords and horns, soaring guitars and sweeping melodies. Silberman's falsetto is still present, but it's not wispy and fragile, it is full of conviction. Though the song matter deals with, let's see…avoiding intimacy, emotional disconnection, being broken, having no one, bursting apart, teeth falling out, bad people out to get you, being trapped in a room on fire, and dying alone, respectively, compared to "Hospice" it's a sunny spring walk in the park, folks!
The cohesion and craft calls to mind Grizzly Bear's Vecketamist from '09, sure to grant the Brooklyn trio a spot on many top 10 lists this year. Maybe the mainstream will catch on and we'll all be blasting it from our shiny new Jettas. Red one.
The Antlers // No Widows