A textured, layered and resonant sound comes from the black and adornment free stage of the Olympia tonight and it can only be The Antlers creating it. Peter Silberman, once a solo artist as The Antlers, has been joined by multi-instrumentalists Darby Cicci and Timothy Mislock plus drummer Michael Lerner, but they sound like they’ve been playing together all of their lives. Interplay, especially that involving each band member playing various instruments simultaneously, is a thing to behold.
Arriving on the back of current album Familiars, the Brooklyn residents are an intriguing concept, part Sigur Ros in their etheral soundscapes, part Wild Beasts in their rumbling swagger and part Middle East in their vocal textures. The richness of their sound and the depth of skill that goes into producing it leaves little to be dissected; such is it’s density. At times the wall of sound from the stage is overwhelmingly heavy and atmospheric but within it is some flawless craft and musicianship. Opening track ‘Palace’ steady and imposing, sees flutes, French horns, keys, guitars, drums and synths all in play and this is generally what happens with everything The Antlers do tonight.
Silberman’s voice is in fine form, airy and light but with enough behind it to cut through the music. ‘Doppelganger’ and ‘Hotel’ sound almost operatic in scale but it’s not until we get to ‘Kettering’ are we treated something approximating a sing-a-long from an otherwise muted crowd. Muted with good cause, though. Nobody can claim to come to an Antlers show to lose it in any other way than to be immersed in sound. There is a sense of hushed appreciation around the venue as Silberman and co. go through their paces. ‘Parade’, ‘Putting the Dog to Sleep’ and ‘Refuge’ provide further highlights as Cicci in particular showcases his remarkable dextrousness. Without taking anything away from tonight’s performance, this gig was definitely one for the fans.
The Antlers photographed for State by Kieran Frost.