Now Wave Presents
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Over the course of five albums, The Antlers have honed a masterful way with emotion. The band, based in Brooklyn, New York, release their latest, ‘Familiars’, this summer. A UK tour follows in the autumn, with a show at The Ritz in Manchester on 31st October. While their tunes hardly qualify as spooky, Halloween is a fitting date for their shivery melodies and sweeping arrangements. It’s been a while since The Antlers toured the UK. Come October, their new album will have had a few months to etch itself onto the minds of their fans, who will be eagerly anticipating this Manchester show.
Of ‘Familiars’ Pitchfork wrote: “Against all odds, they’ve become one of the most interesting indie rock bands working, and the stately beauty of ‘Familiars’ is the latest satisfying effort from a band that continues to reward those listeners who give them the attention their elegant, secretly weird music deserves.” Rewarding listeners is something The Antlers have done consistently. Amidst a clogged circuit of indie bands in New York, the trio seemed to realise what it was that inspired their fans’ affection and improved it. They’ve fearlessly explored inwards-looking emotion and problems associated with love, life and death. It’s this engagement with human feeling that pulls listeners closer.
This idea has never been more apparent than on ‘Familiars’. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Pete Silberman has said that the album focuses on the idea of “feeling completely lost” and “what it would be like to be able to appear to yourself, to give yourself advice and shed light on your situation.” Approaching such ambitious themes is something he’s always done. The Antlers grew from Silberman’s solo project to include Michael Lerner and Darby Cicci for 2009’s ‘Hospice’, which tells the story of a relationship between a hospice nurse and a patient suffering from terminal bone cancer. As a trio, they’ve achieved great success, particularly with 2011’s ‘Burst Apart’ album, which was voted album of the year by the The Fly.
The Antlers took their time over ‘Familiars’. Recorded and self-produced over a year and half in their New York base, the album was mixed by Chris Coady. Creating an album of such emotional depth set to a layered instrumental backing was a painstaking process. But The Antlers have never been interested in making things easy for themselves, their music benefits from hardship. Now, they’re looking forward to the release of touring an album that weighed so heavily for so long.