Took a mini blog vacation. But from all the fan mail *wink*, I decided to start writing again.
New experiment: This post is complelely done on the road, via iPad2, without spell check and written sitting next to strangers, gaulkers and not in my ususal fashion (quill and ink with parchment)....TO THE MUSIC:
Picked up The Antlers 2011 release "Burst Apart" (although the earlier album "Hospice" is on my radar too) and enjoy the hell out of it, #youguys. Not a typical summer listen, but so good (as always, it improves with age).
After thinking about who I could draw a comparison of this band to, I realized that I was not sure I could actually do that...accurately at least. Sure, if you take The Antlers apart you could draw comparisons to other artists. Like Silberman's (Peter Silberman pretty much runs this production) almost falsetto voice can be compare with Justin Vernon's (Bon Iver's lead vocalist). And their electronic pace to many of their songs can be similar to Arcade Fire...just "dreamier" (yes, I've heard the term "dream pop", but this isn't pop). To steal a line from @dadboner (a twitter "soap", as I call it... hilarious stupid humor, btw), if you put an unloaded gun to my head (cause as loaded gun would probably be illegal) then I would say that The Antlers have a bit of Radiohead influence, Depeche....maybe...anyway, its probably not that important. What is, is the music.
Mellow. Very mellow in much of what they do (sleepy even (i.e. "Tiptoe"). Silberman's voice blends with the songs, in a high, falsetto voice that is graceful enough to be a womans, but occasionally deep enough (and pitchy at times) to be a man's - - actually in the track "French Exit" it gets kinda tricky because his high voice is matched with a duet/back-up high pitched woman's voice. The two are so evenly matched it's hard to tell it is two people. I think that this album gets most of its praise for the first 3 or 4 songs which are great, but the entire album is excellent and worth a listen (or my obligatory 2 full listens to love standard). "I Don't Want to Love" is the first track. The track carries an organ bed which pairs well with lazy drums and guitar melody - - add in some high pitched man-voice, and bingo: an Antler classic. "French Exit", has more of a beat and a catchy maracca-synth thing going for it that makes it kinda fun....chill-and-converse-to-fun, not dance-to-it-fun (or to any of the tracks). "Parentheses" is rougher, meaner, a more suspicious lyric, guitar, piano and darker feel. Great nonetheless. From that point in the album, the tracks shift to a more, electronic, melodic, dream-like style. But still great...just different.
The last 4 tracks; however, are where this album excels. "Hounds", "Corsicana", "Putting the Dog to Sleep" (not an act I ever look forward to with my buddy, but the song is probably the best on the album....lyrically sad (of course)....Compare to: "Bronte", the last track on Gotye's "Making Mirrors" album....oddly also about a dying dog), and "Tongue Tied" (a bonus track) are incredible. They build a bit on each other (these first 3 at least) and then "Tongue Tied" just hits you with a heavy, gritty synth-drum track with a far more gruff, yet aloof voice compared to the prior 10 tracks.
I give this album an overall "2 Listens to Love" for a music junkie and "3 Listens to Love" for the more causal music lover.
"Join me next time" when we dig into the belly of a......wait for it.....main stream, multiple studio album, multiple live album, and multiple side-project, band (hey you, yeah you, don't roll your eyes or groan....I will make it fun).