For nearly two years, Peter Silberman stowed away in a New York apartment and wrote a devastatingly beautiful record centered around death and loss. This narrative of the artist — toiling in monkish isolation with the Big Questions in life — has colored much of the reception to Hospice, the second album by Silberman's band, the Antlers. The personal, however, cannot be excised from a record as nuanced and meditative as Hospice. The compositions paint vast interior landscapes, where crackling swirls of noise shift to reveal redemptive peals of brass and tube-bell harmonies. But where the music is post-rock in structure, it's confessional folk in delivery. Silberman's vocals, a plaintive falsetto that beckons comparisons to Bon Iver almost as much as the back-story, toe the line between feelings of awe and insignificance, at the frailty and singularity that makes us human. The band, rounded out by drummer Michael Lerner and multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci, is touring in support of the August re-release of Hospice by Frenchkiss Records, after its original self-release in March.
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