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Old 10-01-2021, 07:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Originally posted in Love or Hate? August 12 2015

Title: Familiars
Artist: The Antlers
Genre: Indie
Familiarity: Heard and fell in love with Hospice

1. Palace: All I can say is I hope this album isn't as heart-tearingly sad as Hospice: I don't think my soul could take that again! The track is opening on a lovely soft piano and synth line, beautiful sad trumpet and the vocals of Peter Silberman are as ethereal and angelic as ever. You really just feel like you're falling into a deep chasm when he sings, and it's a fall you don't mind taking. Already this is some of the most beautiful music I've heard in a long time. Is it just me, or is the cover meant to look like an overcoat, and then when you look closer it's two people embracing?
2. Doppelgänger : This time it's trumpet (or trombone, never can separate the sounds) that leads in the song, another slow, moody, fragile one, with piano coming in and Silberman's voice haunting the tune like a ghost patrolling the corridors of your mind, always just out of sight but you can sense he's there, keeping his lonely vigil. Female vocal coming in now, not sure who. Cello also makes its presence known and some fine, very light Fender Rhodes.
3. Hotel: Slightly harder feel to this, more guitar upfront, though the synth echoes seventies Pink Floyd and again it's a slow, relaxed tune.
4. Intruders: A more biting guitar, but again it's nothing like what you would call an uptempo song. Lovely organ and piano. Oh, and more trumpet. Gotta have trumpet. Some really lovely guitar here. Simple song but really nice. I think there's a harmonium or euphonium, or something ending in -onium anyway in there too.
5. Director: Vocal a bit stronger on this one, bit more passionate, but the song is still a relaxing, laidback ballad style with some gorgeous synth and fine guitar. Getting a certain Floydy vibe from this too. Just beautiful.
6. Revisited: Sort of a Country feel to this. Another lovely track.
7. Parade: I suppose I should say something, but to be honest I'm kind of running out of superlatives here.
8. Surrender: Trumpet really drives this one. So laconic.
9. Refuge: And a great closing track, as I expected at this point it would be.

End result: Not as emotionally draining as Hospice, luckily, but still I see this album as more described as one unit, an experience, almost like a symphony, and breaking it up into separate tracks sort of lessens the effect. Another wonderful album from The Antlers.

So, Love or Hate? After all the blue, you have to ask? True Love.
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