Today's Music Logs
This Week's 35
The Antlers - Burst Apart
Author: Ashley Roch
December 29 2011
I have never listened to 2009’s Hospice, and even saw The Antlers perform during that tour without realizing it (opening for Les Savy Fav at SXSW). Then this album came along and blew me away! It was recorded/produced entirely by the Brooklyn three-piece, from September 2010 to January 2011, and then released in May on French Kiss.
One of my favourite tracks from Burst Apart is a mellow one called “Rolled Together”. It contains the album’s title within its only lyric: “Pulled together but about to burst apart, rolled together with a burning paper heart”. The song has a peaceful, Spiritualized-like tone with droning organ and echo-laden guitars, building at the halfway point with lazy drums and soaring horn melodies to finish. The shoegaze-y ”Hounds” contains floating, clear guitar tones mixed with sparse drumming from Michael Lerner, and lots of sparkling ambience and cymbals. And in the melancholy “Corsicana”, Peter Silberman’s beautiful voice floats over the warm guitar tones, even when he isn’t using his falsetto.
This recording has an overall wintry, warm and cozy sound. But, there are a few icy moments, like the eerie instrumental piece “tiptoe” which could come from a soundtrack to Twin Peaks, featuring vibraphone and a muted trumpet. The third track “Parentheses” also has a darker, bleaker landscape, reminiscent of a Radiohead b-side from the nineties, and “Every night my teeth are falling out”, with its mandolin, rocks out like a Cure or R.E.M. song.
I love Burst Apart for its melodies, arrangements, and sound. It’s dreamy and groovy. There is a nice balance between the background wash courtesy of Darby Cicci’s synths, organ, electric piano, horns - and clear guitars, making a bed for the lush soulful vocals. As NPR Music sums it up, it is “a delicate mixture of grace and intensity”. The whole record sounds great. Buy this album and play it on your stereo.
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