The Antlers – Burst Apart
When putting on a new album, those cold moments of holding your breath as the first few notes play can be frightening – you never know what to expect. The Antlers definitely don’t make these moments any easier as the first track off the new album, Burst Apart, comes in with a very unassuming, alternating four-note riff – but moment of panic over, it turns out they are pretty damn good. What you will first appreciate about The Antlers is that they don’t force-feed you their most stunning and best track and expect you to put up with an hour’s worth of songs that were ‘almost’ as good as the first; each subsequent track builds upon the former with increasing dexterity and enchantment. The special quality which makes them so difficult to ignore is buried in the simplicity of the melody interweaving with the caressingly, lethargic vocals. This band has the rare ability to make it appear as if they are merely the passive conductors of sound – they are the ones being played by the instruments, not the other way round; especially for the vocals, there isn’t the usual set-up of entire songs orbiting around the front-man – here, the voice just becomes another instrument coming forth in waves throughout the album.
‘Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out’ is the most pop sounding track as it is basically a guitar song placed bang in the middle of the album before plunging the listener back into their abyss-like musical depths with ‘Tiptoe’. The elements of Club music (‘No Windows’), the overtones of Folk (‘Every Night…’) and slight Electronica (‘Parentheses’) all fuse together in an ethereal fashion mostly aided by the relentless plastering of reverb across the album – just enough, but not too much, to make you feel as if you’re listening to Burst Apart in tender slow-motion, the music offering you the feel of the sun kissing the side of your face as it drops off to the east. The Antlers offer all the serenity of church music, the intrigue of a travelling circus and the decadence of the Russian Ballet. Too much is not even slightly enough where this band is concerned.