Hospice

Studio Album by released in 2009

Hospice review

Inspiration in isolation

The formation of the American indie rock band The Antlers is accompanied by a whimsical and a lengthy pre-story. As soon as singer and guitarist Peter Silberman moved to Brooklyn, New York, he went into self-inspired isolation from his friends and relatives for about two years, composing music. He recorded and self-released the disc In The Attic Of The Universe, after which he decided to form a command. The artist hired musicians Michael Lerner (percussion, drums) and multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci (keyboards, trumpet, bass and bowed banjo) and called the band The Antlers. In such lineup, they recorded two mini-albums that gave start to their debut disc Hospice. This disc saw light in March 2009 and was self-released. Imagine their surprise when they sold all the copies they made! The further they did – the more happened. They had to record a new party of discs in order to answer the requests for their album, while The Antlers members were totally not ready for such course of the deal. The band faced a real avalanche of positive critical reviews both for the lyrical message of the conceptual disc and its musical part. Finally, the trio signed to the label French Kiss Records, which fulfilled the re-mastering of Hospice and re-released this successful long-play in August 2009. Thus, we can cheer this album in a new quality.

Hospice: album about tandem of love and death

The disc Hospice became a dark and piercing love story between a man and a woman, who is doomed for death because of the bone cancer. The beloved stayed close to her in a special medical facility to the end and witnessed her lengthy and filled with torture fading away. Well, the plot line is an up-to-date and tragic one. But the most striking thing about this story is its natural and everyday cause. The music on the disc is perfect, although sometimes it is minimalistic in order to concentrate the attention on the voice of the narrator – so is the piano song Kettering. The disc opens with the interlude Prologue and partly demonstrates us the situation with the bravado a bit, but lyrical composition Sylvia. The tender, romantic track Bear can be called a fantasy, which discreetly describes the feelings of a pair which suspects pregnancy. This bright pop song includes both the thoughtful lyrics and solid tune along with the indie rock experiments. The melody Shiva, elaborated with ambient elements, tells us about the unity of the beloved. The desperate, but filled with firm will track Wake narrates of the necessity to wake up after each blow of the fate, even this strike is the death of the loved person. The composition has the hymn-like chorus and is sure to be remembered by the listeners. The disc finishes with the sad and philosophic number Epilogue.

The dark romantics by The Antlers

The album Hospice raises such messages that people prefer to miss or oversee nowadays. It is definitely no celebratory album. Nevertheless, if you have an inclination to reflection and musical innovations, you are sure not to miss this indie-rock event. The members of The Antlers made a huge work, recording Hospice. You can find here ambient, indie rock, shoegaze and even folk music elements. It all goes together with the amazing verses. Silberman, being in self-caused isolation, managed to transmit in the tense and sour lyrics the rich palette of emotions – from the slightest, almost unseen sparkles of hope to the overwhelming abyss of desperation. Love that is doomed from the very beginning raises his songs to the classical literature according to the passions that boil within. The musician avoids cloches, while his metaphors are fresh and unexpected. But the main message of Hospice is the need for continuation of the path even in spite of a surpassed tragedy. Whatever happens, life goes on – this ridden truism got a surprisingly bright and powerful interpretation in the labor of The Antlers. The whole long-play is filled with the topics of doom and fate, and the helplessness of a mere man in the face of the inevitable. The disc has a strong philosophic message, nevertheless, it is the pop album first of all and it will definitely strike your imagination.