AOTY 2018

Familiars

The Antlers - Familiars
Critic Score
Based on 24 reviews
2014 Ratings: #97 / 845
User Score
Based on 242 ratings
2014 Ratings: #53
June 17, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
ANTI- / Transgressive / Label
Dream Pop / Genres
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antlersmusic.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
A.V. Club

With this rewarding album, The Antlers take the band’s wounds and find glimmers of redemption and hope. 

90
Exclaim!

Familiars isn't a record that will immediately jump out and grab the listener, but one designed to coerce and shrewdly pique interest for another listen until they're eventually seduced. 

90
PopMatters

Its lack of immediacy may make Familiars feel as out of time as reading verse poetry by a stream, but listeners who remain patient will likely end up enlightened and fulfilled.

85
The Line of Best Fit

The sumptuous manner in which Familiars presents its fabulously complex thematic approach is now, beyond any doubt, The Antlers’ trademark.

83
Consequence of Sound

You’d be hard-pressed to find anything within a stone’s throw of a radio hit among these nine tracks, but you will find a smooth, almost flawlessly cohesive whole.

80
Time Out London

The end result is immersive, emotionally involving and (eventually) even uplifting – against all the odds, a treat for long summer evenings.

80
AllMusic

Interplay between bright but distant-sounding horn sections and soft, simmering instrumentation makes every song a lush, glowing affair, recorded with a somewhat detached production that never allows for any one element to come too much into focus. 

80
DIY

Familiars' may not be as obviously fervently intense as their previous work but the truth is its emotional weapons have just been wrapped in a beautiful bow. 

80
musicOMH

Poignant, lush and beautifully played, this is another predictably wonderful record from The Antlers.

80
NME

Familiar, yes, but The Antlers still have some exciting tricks up their sleeves.

80
Sputnikmusic

There's a completely fulfilling aura that surrounds Familiars – perhaps because it sounds nothing like a product of three musicians and more like a natural progression of something much grander.

80
No Ripcord

The melodies on Familiars might be the catchiest and most memorable the band has yet recorded. 

78
Pitchfork

Against all odds, they’ve become one of the most interesting indie rock bands working, and the stately beauty of Familiars is the latest satisfying effort from a band that continues to reward those listeners who give them the attention their elegant, secretly weird music deserves.

75
Pretty Much Amazing

It all comes satisfyingly full circle, but Familiars mostly washes over you when it should be lunging for your heart.

70
The 405

Familiars is bleak and dreary, potentially at the cost of dragging in certain spots. However, those willing to spend enough time wrapped in its moody embrace will be rewarded with a quite beautiful experience.

60
Drowned in Sound

The extremely subtle musical template that The Antlers have adopted here only avoids grating as a whole by the end of the record because the songs get stronger as the album goes on.

60
Under The Radar

This is beautiful music, but after so many nights of losing teeth, it all too often is without them. 

cwmDJ
97
chilled out indie rock, incredible emotional engrossing lyrics, beautiful perfect vocals, tremendous trip hop style drums, great guitaring, amazing keyboards, tracks 3 to 7 all perfect exceptional songs, mesmeric and magnificent throughout
94
Given this album about thirty listens now, which alone separates it from their two previous LP's Hospice and Burst Apart. Both of which, I love and got me very excited to listen to this album. The songs flow together quite nicely from start to finish with an onslaught of lush string, synth, and horn tones. The drums and bass are bass are far more profound on thing as well. Listen to this one with some great speakers because this bad boy can punch. And sitting at the top of this incredible ... read more
AmericaanSpirit
99
My favorite album of all time. Amazingly well written, peak performance from each band member. Utterly beautiful music with rich atmospheres engulfing every track. All 9 tracks are in perfect harmony with each other, not one song is out of place here. I can’t even fathom the fact that human beings made this music, it’s that good. It plays off the strengths of the Antlers’ previous material, and adds a precise touch of matured and well structured songwriting. Only song I can ... read more
dabreuc
90
Arguably their best effort. Content listening to this over and over.
madeeineem
100
This is my favourite album of all time. It's certainly one that rewards with patience though, it took several listens and being in the right mood for it to finally click with me- which was a lot longer than their previous albums. I was fortunate to see them play it live just before they stopped making music (hopefully to return?!). It was in all honestly probably the most beautiful musical experience I shall ever have.

This album is far more than music, it is therapy, it is forgiveness. Give ... read more
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Track List

  1. Palace
  2. Doppelgänger
  3. Hotel
  4. Intruders
  5. Director
  6. Revisited
  7. Parade
  8. Surrender
  9. Refuge
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Added on: March 31, 2014