Thursday, August 6, 2009

Smooches to Frenchkiss

A little over a month ago we received Hospice, the debut record by Brooklyn band The Antlers. The cover art immediately caught my eye and first and subsequent listens definitely caught my ear. "Bear" for one has been on heavy rotation when I take my beagles on their nightly gambol (we don't say 'walk' in front of them or else they go apeshit and start barking up a storm).

Hospice arrived directly from the band, but it's getting re-released to the wider audience it deserves via Frenchkiss Records. The remastered version is available now digitally, but will be released on CD and vinyl on August 18 (MY BIRTHDAY! Thank you Frenchkiss!!). If you still base your music-purchasing (or -downloading) decisions on what Pitchfork thinks, you'll be pleased as punch to hear that it was awarded Best New Music. I'm just surprised to note that there's been more overlap between me and the kids these days...

The music that The Antlers make vacillates between delicate and chaotic, sometimes within the confines of a single song. Hospice begins with the ominous "Prologue," which is followed by Peter Silberman's wispy whisperings on "Kettering." As weightless as that track is, the band's tribute to Sylvia Plath that follows is a heavy piece of work replete with horns and mighty percussion. The Antlers demonstrate repeatedly that they know how to build within the context of a song (most clock in at over 5 minutes) and have arranged those songs for their maximal effect as an album. Best New Music indeed.

On a somewhat-related/somewhat-tangential note, Frenchkiss Records has been on a pretty solid little roll lately: Sean Bones' Rings, Passion Pit's Manners and Cut Off Your Hands' You & I have all come out recently and have all been worth a listen. Speaking of listening, check out the Frenchkiss audio player where you can hear the above-mentioned artists as well as a new track from the upcoming Dodos record.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

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