The Antlers once made a concept album set in a children’s cancer ward. For the Brooklyn indie rockers’ fifth full-length release, frontman Pete Silberman has been delving deep into ‘The Tibetan Book of the Dead’ for philosophical inspiration. Welcome back, Chuckles – you’re just in time for summer.
But don’t worry, because Silberman’s relentless compulsion to gaze at life’s most implacable dead ends doesn’t result in music that’s unapproachable or even particularly gloomy. Like Arcade Fire at their best, he’s managed to alchemise what sounds like a prolonged bout of navel-gazing into a set of songs with the arc of a journey from darkness into light. ‘Familiars’ is a kind of Zen chamber pop; a hymn to living in the present and learning from your past without being overwhelmed by it.
It helps, of course, that the band’s music remains so silkily seductive. A narcotic fog of pianos, horns and languid guitar figures eventually resolves itself into something radiant and subtly melodic. These baroque yet strangely ambient mood pieces make a perfect backdrop to Silberman’s musings on time and transience. The end result is immersive, emotionally involving and (eventually) even uplifting – against all the odds, a treat for long summer evenings.
What do you think of ‘Familiars’? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.
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Enfolded within Camden Market, this building may have been a horse hospital at one point in its lifetime, but it certainly ain't an animal refuge any more. The cobbled floors remain, as do the stables, but they've been spruced up and turned into booths. The roof terrace has also been revamped with bright colours and twee bunting. The main space is usually decked with artwork on the walls and also has a stage for live bands. There's a cabaret room on the other side of the venue and, of course, a bar serving up the usual tipples. Club nights here usually feature indie-electro, synth-pop, R&B, hip hop and funk.
Venue says: “From Drizzy to Dizzee, we play you the best in hip hop, trap and grime every Wednesday at Proud Camden.”