The Antlers - Familiars
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2014 Ratings: #102 / 964
User Score
Based on 263 ratings
2014 Ratings: #57
Liked by 1 person
June 17, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
ANTI- / Transgressive / Label
Dream Pop / Genres
antlersmusic.com / Website
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A.V. Club

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


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. 


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.

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.

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.

Time Out London

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


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. 


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. 


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


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


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.

No Ripcord

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


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.

Pretty Much Amazing

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

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.

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.

Under The Radar

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

It may not have the same somber storyline as "Hospice", but "Familiars" makes up for it with everything else. Peter Silberman's falsetto has been fine-tuned to perfection on this record, and his thought-provoking songwriting is at peak form. Meanwhile, the production is beautifully-haunting, with great guitar and bass work and steady drum grooves. Overall, "Familiars" is The Antlers' most seductive work yet and I can't believe how much I'm LOVING this band!

Fav ... read more
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
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
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
Arguably their best effort. Content listening to this over and over.
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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