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Hospice

The Antlers

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iTunes Review

Following a life-changing move to New York City, The Antlers’ frontman Peter Silberman took two years to complete Hospice. The stark “Prologue” bleeds into an equally moody “Kettering,” an ice storm of a song where Silberman’s voice actually sounds like he’s singing quietly from the bed of a hospital while the world outside his window succumbs to the harsh elements. That is until “Sylvia” finds him howling at his muse like the throws of death are upon him. Exploring sonic textures akin to Flying Saucer Attack, this song explodes and blossoms with unfolding topographies of distorted aural textures that beautifully go against the grain of Silberman’s androgynous voice — meanwhile tangled tape loops and blizzards of guitar feedback almost drown and suffocate some matadorian horns that all recall the ghosts of shoegaze past — more specifically the song “Spaniard” from Boo Radleys” 1992 album Everything’s Alright Forever. Silberman births tectonic layers of noise and sound that shift and rumble like earthquakes one moment, while gently lulling listeners to a peaceful rest the next moment.

Customer Reviews

Thank you Peter.

She didn't want us in the room. Didn't want us to see her gaunt face, her bruised arms, the pink flannel cap atop her bare, pale head. With shaking hands, she signed papers and asked through cracked lips for more ice chips. At the end of the hallway I found an unlocked door that led to an upper floor under construction. Plastic sheeting shuddered in the March winds as my younger brother and I hammered nails, balanced on sawhorses and for a few minutes were children again. Somehow Daniel, who always sensed trouble before me, knew we should go back. My grandfather saw us first. His cracked electrician's hands, wet and warm, trembled as he led us to her room. After weeks in the hospital, we had missed her last breath. Her mouth was open, her chin high. To this day, I wonder if that was her plan. I like to think she sent my father - who went three years before her - to show us that door, that stairway, those tools, that escape.

After 26 years, Hospice took me back there. I can't stop crying and for that, Peter, I thank you.

My sister called today. She has the same cancer that took my mother.

Impossible to sum up with a short title.

This music is all the more deep and touching when you know the story leading up to the writing of this album...
It started with his sister dying. Which, of course, did its damage to him. But then, his wife got pregnant, as planned, but they discovered she had a condition that would lead to the death of her and the baby if the pregnancy was to continue. So they had to get an abortion (lets not argue the humanity of that decision here, please). His wife died shortly there after, falling victim to cancer. He then moved to NYC, cutting off all connections with those he knew. He refused to make any friends or even talk with most of his coworkers while working at his job, until one day he started asking around for a couple members to join what he was doing. He got his crew, and recorded the first run of this album in his tiny apartment and sold it on the street. They made 1000 copies, and all sold quick. A record company found them and picked them up, and they recorded this right here.

Now with that story in mind, listen to this album again, and the true meanings of the songs really come through.
Kettering he's singing about his wife's diagnosis.
Two he details how he and his wife were coping with it.
Shiva is about her death.
And finally Epilogue. In this, he's finally fully coming to grips with, and accepting the fact that he has lost his wife. One of the deepest, most moving songs I've ever had the privilege of listening to.

This album truly is a work of art. Yes, it is sad, but that isn't the essence of the album. He's not seeking people's pity; it seems more than that to me. He seems to be singing for himself, helping himself... an emotional release, and we all get the privilege of listening in as he gives us the amazing music that came out of the process.

Unique...

It seems as if all their songs reach down inside of you. ''Kettering" has this way of pulling you in and making you feel emotions you haven't probably felt in a while. When the song starts i just sit there, and do nothing but think and feel. Which i consider, as a matter of fact, a good song(s).

Biography

Formed: Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Evolving from Peter Silberman's bedroom recordings to a fully realized band, for Brooklyn-based the Antlers, what started out as a solo lo-fi folk project progressed quickly into a colossal-sounding chamber pop group. After self-recording a handful of albums in a kamikaze fashion — Uprooted (recorded just before and after moving in 2007), The February Tape (recorded in a bathtub in an hour), In the Attic of the Universe (a single ambient song stretched into an album), and Cold War (an album...
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Hospice, The Antlers
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