...or maybe I should say "underwater-rock," since the music on the aptly-titled 'Undersea' will make you feel as if you're drifting through the depths of the ocean, much like the EP's cover photo suggests.
As a newcomer to The Antlers (other than the occasional casual listen on music blogs), I'm not going to compare this with their previous work, though I will say that if you like Sigur Ros, the jazzy, near post-rock of later Talk Talk, or even Radiohead, you should feel right at home here, as this takes those bands' ambient, atmospheric qualities and mixes them with melodies that are warm and inviting, as opposed to the slightly cold and distant style of the aforementioned bands. The four tracks here combine to create a sustained, almost serene state of bliss that's nearly impossible not to get swept up in.
Synthesizer effects, sax, and trip-hop beats are used heavily throughout, but never dominate the other instruments, and are never gaudy. It all coalesces seamlessly, and when combined with the eerie, abstract lyrics and the ethereal vocals of Silberman, induces me into somewhat of a trance or dream-like state. Also, I'm pretty sure this album causes me to feel an emotion that is totally unique to the experience of listening to this. It's sort of like feeling "haunted," yet it's euphoric at the same time, if that makes any sense.
'Undersea' is definitely in the upper echelon of modern psych music, and, since purchasing it the other day, has caused me to blow money I don't have on their back catalog. But if the rest of their output even approaches the level of quality found on this EP, I think it will be money well-spent, since I'll be more than occupied for months, if not years, to come. It's pretty rare when an album has as profound an impact on me as this, but boy, is it a great feeling when it does.