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The Antlers - Green to Gold (Album Review)

Wednesday, 07 April 2021 Written by Milly McMahon

Photo: Shervin Lainez

Best known for their cataclysmically emotive concept music, The Antlers have found room to breathe in a different mode on ‘Green to Gold’. Waiting seven years to release the follow up to ‘Familiars’, their mood today feels like a healing wave of relief experienced after a deep trauma.

Written predominantly during morning time, here Peter Silberman has stepped away from the overwhelming tones that underpinned his previous work. For those unfamiliar with The Antlers’ discography, this album might feel washed out and forgettable, but for those who fell into the webs spun by ‘Hospice’ and ‘Burst Apart’ a decade ago, ‘Green to Gold’ not only makes perfect sense, but also feels like a much-needed antidote.

Just One Sec is as close to perfect as a lullaby can get. “For just one sec, free me from me,” Silberman whispers. “Free me from your limiting ideas of me, free me from the version you prefer I’d be.”

Reflecting on the enormity of his creative journey, the meditative squall that washes over the listener at the end of the track communicates a sense of peace we have not heard from The Antlers before. 

Revered for writing concept albums about unbearable heartbreak, their lyrics have in the past woven an emotionally abusive relationship around striking images of a palliative patient being nursed by a lover in the titular hospice. Now, tracks like It Is What It Is place the focus on living and being, not ruminating and mourning. 

Following Silberman’s health troubles—including debilitating tinnitus and vocal lesions—the band's resurrection takes an sharp turn. Themed by acceptance and gratitude, the maturation of their music is beautiful but, perhaps understandably, not as impactful as their seminal work on ‘Hospice’. 

There is no music that resembles any of their earlier high points here, and for many The Antlers remain an unsurpassable band, so charged with raw, searing passion. Rather than trying to replicate the devastating compositions they constructed together previously,  ‘Green to Gold’ feels like a stepping stone towards a new chapter.


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