I'm a fan so don't expect anything other than extreme bias here!
'Hospice' (2009) and 'Bursting Apart' (2011) were both wonderful
albums which somehow set something both fragile, essential and intensely
human vibrating in the Listening World. A delicate but powerful energy.
'Familiars' continues that journey with the ever-increasingly haunting
voice of Peter Silberman at the helm of these nine exquisite new songs.
It is a gentle, laconic affair which barely breaks a sweat from top to tail
but contains some of the most beautiful melodies I have heard this year.
The Antlers have really grown from strength to strength. If liquid gold had
a sound I can imagine that it would be very much like this. There is a fluidity
and luminescence in these compositions which both warms the heart and stirs the
spirit and has no need to rely on cheap effects or artifice to make their mark.
This is truly joyous music making of the very highest calibre.
Brass features prominantly in many of the arrangements bringing textural depth
and a deeply affecting sense of melancholy to the sound which perfectly
compliments Mr Silberman's restrained but captivating vocal performances.
Top tracks would have to include the utterly enchanting opening number 'Palace'
which sparkes with a strange kind of inner light; 'Doppelganger', a slow- moving
bluesy piece shot through with mournful trumpet decorations; 'Parade', which has
one of the album's loveliest tunes and the sublime final song 'Refuge' which, although
barely stirring the air around it, brings the project to reflective and peaceful conclusion.
'Familiars' truly is one of those albums which, in its own small way, makes the World a better place.