In seven years together, Brooklyn’s The Antlers have created a quiet revolution in thought and sound with their harrowing and often haunted tales of love unmoored, human frailty and emotional evisceration.
On Familiars, their fifth album, The Antlers – vocalist / guitarist Peter Silberman, multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci, and drummer Michael Lerner – have resumed the journey they began with 2009’s Hospice and continued over the next two albums Burst Apart and Undersea, which found the trio picking their way through a labyrinth of fear, doubt, love and loss against a backdrop of layered textural songs that were as deeply atmospheric as they were anthemic.
More hopeful in mood than its predecessors, the new album emanates a palpable release of despair and an almost operatic verve on nine songs that took shape over the past year and a half.
Familiars moves the Antlers’ emotional and spiritual odyssey further, alongside a palette of sounds that soar and retreat under a canopy of electronic trappings and the steady arrhythmic heartbeat of Lerner’s unnerving drumming. A choir of funereal horns function as a second voice across the songs.