Ever since Hospice, Peter Silberman and his Antlers have overwhelmed me with some of the most exploring and artistic narratives of guilt, agony, yearning, anger, abuse and other grueling emotions we all face at some point in our relationships. With his poetic mazes and infinite imagination, Silberman have set a new paradigm for break-up songs by capturing these universal emotions with an intelligence and an uncomfortable honesty that goes far beyond any drained metaphors and cheesy catharsis.
Three years after Burst Apart, the band is swiftly approaching their fifth album release – third since Hospice placed them in a larger conversation – and one might wonder how much more trauma is there left for Silberman to put his poetic words around. And perhaps more importantly; are their new ways forward for the bands already grandiose atmospheric indie rock? Possibly Not. Nor is it required of them. New single “Palace” is a glowing lullaby filled with heart ripping horns, elegant piano and Silberman’s increasingly spacious falsetto that doesn’t sound far removed from 2012’s “Drift Drive”. On “Palace” Silberman continues to pull brilliantly narrated stories from his marred soul that transcends even as his words are deepened in dubiety. This is yet another maudlin beauty from one of our times greatest songwriters.
Based on everything they’ve done up to this point, not to mention my gut feel, I can’t imagine how they would fail to make another gripping record. We’ll know on July 17, when Familiars is finally out.