Brooklyn’s Antlers are so hot right now, evidenced by the fact they’ve been opened for neighbours The National. Geographical proximity is about where the similarities end, however. The Antlers lack the National’s wizened, knowing insouciance and sardonic craft, but what they instead have is Pete Silberman’s occasionally soaring falsetto (reminiscent of another NY alumnus who I won’t even bother to name check here) and gossamer melodies which are weaved throughout the ephemera of the album. Like a sugar sculpture on a meringue.
A song such as ‘Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out’ which is Mr. Silberman’s somnambulant money worries or perhaps a prediction for sweets, suggest that the album was written in dreams, such is the nebulousness of some of the songs. They hover around after you’ve heard them, half remembered, half-hummed. On ‘Parentheses’ the guitar is sleazier and more immediate and hints at a latent aggression that, at times, the rest of the album cries out for. It threatens to soar, occasionally, but revels more in it’s wispy minimalism. Chords stretch out over the minutes, Silberman’s voice hovers on top like a sprinkling of icing sugar on an éclair.
As for Burst Apart’s closing track ‘Putting The Dog To Sleep’, I don’t know whether Silberman’s metaphor for the end of an affair is saccharine sweet or cruelly sarcastic. I hope he wakes up soon, and makes his mind up. Certainly with that voice, The Antlers can go far, but in order to do so they may need to rely on it less, and serve up a course that isn’t just dessert.