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The Antlers

antlers

Familiars 

POD/Inertia

 

There’s potential bad news for devout fans of The Antlers’ 2009 LP, HospiceFamiliars represents a maturing in the Antlers’ sound. Gone are the melodramatic outbursts of the past. In their place lies lush, low-tempo dream-pop and a reliance on evocative horn lines.

This is a good thing overall. Past albums had moments of catharsis. Familiars relies on its consistency and sustained atmosphere, which doesn’t allow for much variety, but makes it incredibly relaxing. The mood is so steady that it takes a while for the album to click – listeners might wait for a change in tempo to occur, but it never happens. This might be the reason for placing all the highlights later in the album – it lets the listener get used to the proceedings, before flooring them with the breathtaking arrangements of Director and Revisited.

If there’s a star here, apart from the ever-present horns, it’s Peter Silberman and his improved vocal ability. His melodies twist and turn in ways you don’t see coming, but always help elevate the songs to new heights.

Because of its laidback sound, it’s unlikely that people will care for this record as much as the emotionally draining Hospice. But for the same reason, there’s a good chance that this one will be played more.

 

LEONARDO SILVESTRINI

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