Track Review: The Antlers – “Drift Dive” / “Crest”

[ANTI-; 2012]

While many learned of The Antlers through 2009’s emotional underground hit, Hospice, they have continued to refine their sound in their subsequent material, including 2011’s Burst Apart. Next they intend to release a four-track EP called Undersea in late July, and two tracks can now be streamed from the project.

“Drift Dive” is the first track, and it has a very oceanic sound to it, with tropical melodies and plenty of watery noises flooding the headphones. It’s a very beautiful song, with Peter Silberman’s tender vocals floating atop the horns, guitars and all manner of other instruments perfectly. Silberman is growing as a musician and song-writer, and he seems to be getting increasingly ambitious with everything that he releases. It’s also nice to hear that although The Antler’s music is often melancholy and minimalistic, Silberman is willing to leave the darker sonic territory of his previous two albums behind and sail new waters. Thus, “Drift Dive,” while still sombre throughout, sounds less hostile and introspective than The Antlers have been in the past, which works to the track’s benefit.

“Crest” is the third track from Undersea, and it sounds a degree darker than “Drift Dive,” coming across as something from a noir-themed detective soundtrack and reminiscent of “Tiptoe” from Burst Apart. It feels relatively at home with this track, although it’s perhaps more stylised, sounding very smooth and slick. Silberman steals the show with his soaring, distinctive vocals, and the melody throughout is memorable and executed excellently by the band.

It’s not difficult to see The Antlers as one of the most consistent acts in recent times, and Undersea proves to be another beautiful and haunting listen, even if its lyrical themes may be less idiosyncratic to a specific concept than albums such as Hospice. Both “Drift Dive” and “Crest” set the bar very high, slotting in nicely with The Antler’s already glowing collection of songs.

Stream: The Antlers – “Crest”

“Drift Dive” – 8/10

“Crest” – 8/10

Undersea is out July 24th on ANTI-.