By Emily Dorrel /// Staff Writer
Released June 16, “Familiars”, the latest album by dark, moody outfit The Antlers, furthers the musical evolution marked by the band’s 2011 release, “Burst Apart.”
The Antlers’ progression towards melodic, jazz-influenced space rock works through the weaving of soulful brass riffs and ethereal and string melodies into an indie rock framework. While “Familiars” introduces a fresh, lushly textured sound, Peter Silberman’s distinct, lamenting whine remains the core staple unifying the whole of The Antlers’ work.
Accompanied by nostalgic, emotionally driven lyrics, “Familiars” solidifies The Antlers’ cred within the world of melancholic sad rock. Amid the psychedelic epilogue riff in “Director,” Silberman somberly explores the agony of lost love as he cries, “How’d you expect your soul/To send a whole patrol/If you were too far gone/For me to know where to find you?/I’ve wandered out along/Into your cold unknown/To try to bring you home/ So you forgot your way?/Well I’m trying to remind you”. Other songs notable for their musical artistry and lyricism include “Parade,” “Hotel” and “Palace”.
“Familiars” evokes a haunting sense of cathartic sorrow so beautifully and masterfully executed that it blurs the lines between anguish and ecstasy. The end result is a euphonic existential reflection of life, lost love and understanding of personal growth and of human emotion. “Familiars” aspires to musically accompany the joy, pain and mystery of life, and does so successfully. If you feel the need for a brooding, montage-worthy cry sesh, I suggest you pop “Familiars” into your turntable and get introspective.