Starting as the solo project of Peter Silberman, The Antlers have released several albums unrecognized. Mostly only with guitars and vocals. That is until now, Hospice - the album that has been hyped for almost a year took two years in recording, and adding new and permanent members to the band. With the help of drummer Michael Lerner and multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci, Silberman has finally achieved in making an amazing record. The Antlers use their instrumentation to fuel the emotional story of a man losing a loved one to cancer and having to witness her death first-hand. The album starts with Prologue which is an interesting peice of ambient music, which is made more apparent in the other songs. Silbermans voice does sound a bit like that of Bon Iver, but the production on this album is a bit more polished and better even. Kettering starts very lo-fi with a repeating piano pattern and Silberman's soft and quite beautiful voice enhancing it, actually every song on the album starts like this. When we get to the line "and they told me there was no saving you" the track builds up to it's emotional climax and we are given a pretty good idea of what the main narrator would be feeling - emotionally drained. Other tracks offer plenty of reverbed guitars that makes them sound dreamy and layered with emotion. The Antlers seem to make good use of it, with haunting vocals at the top of dissonant guitars and ambient keyboard stuff. Several of the songs end on noisy, epic highs that can send shivers down your spine, most notably Bear which is perhaps the best song on the album.
Listen at spotify or grooveshark.