Album Review: The Antlers – Familiars

9/10

Published by JB.

Recalling the beauty of the trumpet

It’s masterpiece theater time for Peter Silberman, Darby Cicci and Michael Lerner of the Antlers.   Dropping this new gem into their stellar catalog is another firm stake in the ground against those who long ago predicted iTunes would trigger the demise of the long-play album format.   This is the definition of an album.  In what may go down as their seminal work, Familiars, is just about as beautiful sounding of a record as you can press onto a shiny disc or a round piece of vinyl.  Blowing the doors off the chamber rock sound and surpassing anything their contemporaries like Grizzly Bear have ever released, Familiars ranks among the year’s most thrilling works.  It joins Beck’s 20120601_Antlers_Shins_139Morning Phase album as the most emotionally gripping releases of 2014.  The complex arrangements, soaring vocals and seamless transition from track to track are breathtaking.

The album’s bookends ‘Palace’ and ‘Refuge’ are like Roman pillars.  In between are seven additional tracks of Sigur Ros-level vocals, buoyant melodies and so much of that fucking amazing trumpet.  Not since the encore of Camera Obscura’s 2006 ‘Razzle Dazzle Rose’ has the trumpet ever bounced off the senses so perfectly in indie pop.   But to call this a pop record is nearly a slap.   This record helps define why music is actually 3-dimensional poetry.   The album represents the perfect mix of words, sounds and transition of melody that create a hidden element that you can’t quite put your finger but you know it’s there.   It’s the bermuda triangle of art (sound, words and imagination).   Many great artists have found that triangle before and the Antlers have found theirs with Familiars.

–TWTHS

TRACK LISTING:

  1. PALACE
  2. DOPPELGÄNGER
  3. HOTEL
  4. INTRUDERS
  5. DIRECTOR
  6. REVISITED
  7. PARADE
  8. SURRENDER
  9. REFUGE

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