The Antlers
Familiars


4.5
superb

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
June 17th, 2014 | 421 replies


Release Date: 06/17/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Like a weightless, hate-less animal - beautifully oblivious

If The Antlers aren't crafting gorgeous atmospheres, then they probably aren't making music. For as much attention as front man Peter Silberman gets for his otherworldly vocals, the backdrop has always been the definitive quality of each successive Antlers work. This was never clearer than on Burst Apart, where the band took the timid strides gained on Hospice and expanded that instrumental influence to compose their most full-bodied, dynamic album to date. The more the band flourished, the more one could feel Silberman settling comfortably into his niche – as opposed to running the entire show. And call it a controversial statement, but this is the best thing that has ever happened to The Antlers.

You could even sense it on the Undersea EP – a release that distinctly foretold the artistic direction of Familiars, if not because of jazz-laced moments like "Crest" , then definitely because of the fashion in which Silberman effortlessly blended his vocals with the music. At times, it was as if his voice was nothing more than another instrument – making its contributions to the larger picture, the magnum opus. Familiars follows in the same vein, fostering the synthesis of his angelic voice with majestic horns, airy piano notes, and weightless percussion. The beauty of this marriage is that he still holds the ability to come forth and deliver a knock-out, awe-inspiring blow whenever he feels moved to do so. Opening track "Palace" is one such instance, as Silberman's talent soars far beyond anything else that can be heard, making for one of the most brilliant songs on Familiars. There are intermittent power surges such as these, but it is the balance between his breathtaking vocals and the rich musical atmosphere that makes this record such a success – on all musical levels.

If Burst Apart was a resplendent big bang of ideas, then Familiars is admittedly the calm that follows. With that there is something left to be desired, as the record never truly vies for our attention. Instead, it draws us in with its smooth, milk-and-honey jazz that constantly borders on the ethereal. There's a completely fulfilling aura that surrounds Familiars – perhaps because it sounds nothing like a product of three musicians and more like a natural progression of something much grander. To some extent, Familiars could be about relinquishing control. Silberman's selflessness has resulted in a far more cohesive musical output, one that – if we would completely let go as listeners – would carry us wherever our minds desired. For The Antlers, it's as if they have no say. They are merely clinging to driftwood, offering their perspective as the tide pulls them further out to sea. To immerse yourself in The Antlers’ music is simply to go along for that ride, relishing the gorgeous soundscape as you gradually float away towards the horizon.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2014


16152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

One of those reviews where I'm not sure if I'm even saying much. But this is definitely how Familiars
makes me feel.

I'd place this album just below Burst Apart and Hospice, but it's still a little early to make that
call.

Digging: Alt-J - This Is All Yours

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2014


1628 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Well you got to it miles before me. Awesome job as always, I like that the album gives everyone in the band a chance to shine.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 17th 2014


13276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

emeritus wat


need to jam this, burst apart was kill her

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2014


3459 Comments


whoa whoa whoa hold the phone sowing's back?

Emyay
June 17th 2014


5962 Comments


he pops up to write reviews every now and then it seems. good review. still don't really know how i feel about this. seems to grow slightly every time i listen. palace is one of the best songs of the year so far though


SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2014


16152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

I'll probably be around more now that it's summer - from September to May my job keeps me pretty busy.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2014


3459 Comments


ask MX to implement a "seasonal staff" tag

JokineAugustus
June 17th 2014


6089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Finally. Now I can proclaim my love of this album

Digging: Dot Hacker - How's Your Process? (Work)

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2014


16152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

Haha that'd actually be pretty applicable to me BroStep. "Need summer help?"


minty901
June 17th 2014


2018 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

best since hospice

JokineAugustus
June 17th 2014


6089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Easily their best album. Revisited is the best song they've ever made.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2014


16152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

Burst Apart is their best overall work, but Hospice carries that emotional weight

And "Revisited" is great but better than "Palace"? Nah, man.

JokineAugustus
June 17th 2014


6089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Every song on here is near flawless. That solo at the end of Hotel oh man! Top 5 would be Revisited, Hotel, Director, Doppelganger, and Intruders. So pretty much the entire mid section of the album.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2014


16152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

I like everything from the beginning up until the last couple tracks. They just don't hold my interest as much.

SAPoodle
June 17th 2014


484 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

As much as I enjoy this album, I can't help but feel that it doesn't live up to its potential. For me, the only song that even comes close to being as good as "Palace" (which is my song of the year at the moment) is "Parade"

elbaliem
June 17th 2014


913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the melody in palace is so lovely

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2014


16152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

One of the best songs this year for sure

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2014


1628 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I believe that the last three songs on this are some of the best on the album.

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2014


10460 Comments


i'm still not sure how much i like this but it will probably end up low 3.5 for me

Digging: Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE

JokineAugustus
June 17th 2014


6089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

So many different opinions on this album



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