Since 2009, The Antlers have come back again and again with slow, devastating, syrupy jams. Maybe it’s just cause I’m a sucker for slow, devastating, syrupy jams, but there’s something about Pete Silberman and co. that’s still extremely forward thinking. Fans hoping for another Hospice should probably hang that one up, at least for another few years. Instead of another heartbreaking, melancholic, epic concept album, they’ve come back for album number five (three with the full band) with the horn and piano centered opening cut “Palace”.
It picks up just where their 2012 EP Undersea left off, with Silberman’s haunting falsetto and their newfound ability to incorporate symphonic horns (seriously, if anything ever was missing from The Antlers it was some appropriately placed trumpet). And, on top of it all, instead of their typical depressive sound, “Palace” seems more anthemic in a hopeful, maybe even uplifting way. Who knows if that will play out on Familiars as a whole, but it works here, and is a welcome addition to their increasingly impressive catalogue.