Hospice spends the majority of its time at that precipice, straddling an emotional expanse that's both morbid and racked with guilt, self-loathing and desperation. And while this might not sound like the most pleasant way to spend the best part of 50 minutes, The Antlers manage to create an intoxicating ambient landscape within which Silberman exercises his cathartic right. But to simply call the landscape "ambient," and be done with it, sells it horribly short.
In the hands of a lesser artist, Hospice could have been a complete clusterfuck. A concept album about childhood trauma precipitating adult dysfunction, with nightmares, ghosts, hospital machinery, and attempted suicide, the album could have very easily buckled under the weight of all this sodden imagery and self-seriousness. Yet against all odds, its oxidized bones stubbornly refuse to bend and its spires continue to wind their way heavenward. Having reviewed the sampli
ng of tracks from previous releases on the band’s website, one becomes acutely aware of just how much The Antlers’ founder Peter Silberman has come into his own. From the sleepy, lo-fi folk of Uprooted to the attractive if somewhat staid indie-pop of In the Attic of the Universe, the listener can trace Silberman’s trajectory towards its pinnacle in Hospice. He appropriates the hazy sheen of My Bloody Valentine’s guitar and the fractured folk-punk of Neutral Milk Hotel, reconfiguring them so earnestly and skillfully as to make them all his own.
This album is deeper than what it seems to be on surface. The meaning of the whole album makes much more sense when the music and the words used by Peter are digested at the same time. Emotions behind the voice is hard to ignore.
soul destroying album about a terminally ill patient, in places the music is breath takingly sublime, mostly acoustic with flashes of genius innovative production and sounds
|# 11 -||A.V. Club|
|# 9 -||Consequence of Sound|
|# 27 -||No Ripcord|
|# 34 -||NPR|
|# 17 -||Paste|
|# 37 -||Pitchfork|
|# 23 -||PopMatters|
|# 5 -||Pretty Much Amazing|
|# 8 -||Stereogum|