Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Antlers- Hospice (2009) MP3 & FLAC

"You return to me at night just when I think I may have fallen asleep. Your face is up against mine, and I'm too terrified to speak."

The hardest part of dealing with death is its incomprehensibility, the way it lifts the curtain on our quotidian lives and forces us to stare, if only momentarily, into an abyss of ineradicable absence. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows this disorienting feeling intimately, a stark sense of finality that no amount of preparation and emotional adjustment can soften. In a certain sense, The Antlers' debut Hospice is about how we engage with, and sometimes hopelessly struggle against, this incomprehensibility. Hospice, with its concept album ambitions, stands as something of an anomaly in this age of micro-genres and iTunes, but it wears its narrative well and is bolstered by Peter Silberman's dynamic but never flashy vocals. Lyrically, the story is ostensibly about a cancer patient, Sylvia, bitterly struggling through her last days and a hospice nurse who, despite the hopelessness of the situation, falls in love with her. Some have compared this album to Lou Reed's harrowing masterpiece Berlin (although Magic and Loss also comes to mind), and the comparison is apt; both albums are unblinking in their examinations of trauma, and both albums manage to integrate story and music masterfully, making them well-worth returning to despite the uncomfortable subject-matter. And this is something to remember about Hospice, concept album aside, it contains some wonderfully lush (and sometimes creepy) Chamber-Pop whose expansiveness can verge on Post-Rock at times. Coupled with Silberman's memorable voice, it all makes for a very distinctive and emotional listening experience.

 1. Prologue  (2:34)
 2. Kettering  (5:10)
 3. Sylvia  (5:27)
 4. Atrophy  (7:40)
 5. Bear  (3:53)
 6. Thirteen  (3:11)
 7. Two  (5:56)
 8. Shiva  (3:45)
 9. Wake  (8:43)
10. Epilogue  (5:28)


  1. It's a beautiful sad Album.
    I've heard it for the first time only few months ago and it captured me.

    I'm very sorry for your loss.

    I give you a warm hug.

  2. Lon, I lost my brother over a year ago, but it weighs on me everyday, that and watching my elderly mom deteriorate. The older I get, the more life seems inundated with death. Thanks for the hug; I appreciate it

  3. Very very nice post. Sorry for your loss.

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