What started out as a solo project by Peter Silberman is now a full-blown musical force, the force that is The Antlers. For the popular 2009 album Hospice, multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci and drummer Michael Lerner joined Silberman, and the extra two doses of talent secured the success, and presence, of the band in Hospice and follow-up Burst Apart.
While Hospice narrated the relationship between a hospice worker and a terminally ill patient, their August-released four-song EP Undersea adopts a completely different theme; yes, you guessed it, an aquatic one. Before delving into Undersea, it’s important to note how original these guys are. They’re not just singing about lost love, teen angst, or that fancy car they always wanted to drive. No, what they do is take a specific idea and use their music to turn that concept into a story. Each song takes a different approach, conversing with the listener in every way possible, thus making the relationship between the band and the listener a personal one.
Undersea has a lighter feel than their earlier hits, but that should not undermine its quality. It accomplishes the aquatic theme in its heavily instrumental, ethereal nature. The song “Crest” paints a picture that lets you envision the ocean at night, dark and vast. While the strong percussions make you feel like you’re submerged and listening to the waves from beneath the water, Silberman’s vocals are soothing, so much to the point where you just want to drift off into the limitless sea. The combination of the trio makes for an interesting rhythm. “Zelda” is also quite noteworthy, especially for the presence of Cicci’s bass and the use of synthesizers.
All in all, The Antlers have brought us awesome, laidback new music. Yet, beyond this very essence, the band has shown us the depths and versatility of a single element within music.