Living awhile in the front of my skull

The Antlers
The Antlers

Personally, I wouldn’t listen to a word I say. I should go back and delete certain posts. I should delete the whole blog and start again. But the internet never forgets – mistakes are cached like bitter arguments between family and friends. I have made grievous errors. I don’t deserve an opinion, never mind a miniscule audience.

The Antlers released Hospice in 2009… not once but twice. It’s that good. After the original self-release garnered huge amounts of praise and adoration, Frenchkiss Records picked it up and hurled this incredible piece of work out into the world with added velocity. I failed to include this masterpiece in my list of the best albums of last year. This was not because I was unaware of it – I was. Stand-out tracks like “Kettering”, “Bear” and “Two” were swirling around in my iTunes for months, but sometimes it just doesn’t click. I don’t think listening to music while tapping away at a laptop is the best environment to grow to love a song in and yet this is the situation in which I first introduce my ears to most music. Songs need to travel. They need to be loved within a context and a space in time. This might be why I have so many more memories of being astounding by a song while listening on my headphones around the city. Most people have a time, place or event with which they associate their favourite songs. The Antlers never clicked with me when the individual tracks popped up on shuffle and I don’t remember listening to the Hospice album in full last year, though I’m sure I did.

In the past two months since Christmas it’s been on constant rotation in my personal bunker. It is an album with a story which – regardless of its basis in reality – is worthy of being bought/stolen and turned into a soppy drama starring people out of Grey’s Anatomy. There has been a pretty limited number of albums in the past ten years that have compelled me to listen to them over and over as much as this has. Admittedly, there are brief, patchy moments and shades of self-indulgence but the aforementioned stand-out tracks – as well as “Sylvia” and the closing “Epilogue” – all stand as songs of sincere quality on their own while the other tracks segue between them, providing narrative and necessary space between more insistent material. “Two” is a song that will plant a desperate melody in that long-term storage space in your head. The lyrics give a kind of synopsis of the album as a whole but you know you have to hear the whole story. As further temptation, the newly-released video for “Bear” is below along with extensive tour dates from around the world. I implore you to check them out when they come to Dublin in May so that I don’t have to chase you in there with a pointy stick.

MP3: The Antlers – Two – [Buy]

02-16 Toronto, Ontario – Phoenix Concert Theatre #
02-17 Montreal, Quebec – Il Motore
02-18 Boston, MA – House of Blues #
02-19 New York, NY – Terminal 5 #
02-20 Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero #
02-21 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club #
03-02 Paris, France – Scopitone Club
03-03 London, England – Union Chapel
03-04 Oxford, England – Jericho Tavern
03-05 Brighton, England – Hanbury Ballrooms
03-06 Brussels, Belgium – AB
03-08 Berlin, Germany – Bang Bang Club
03-09 Hamburg, Germany – Prinzen Bar
03-10 Copenhagen, Denmark – Jazz House
03-12 Malmo, Sweden – Debaser
03-13 Stockholm, Sweden – Debaser
03-14 Bergen, Norway – Landmark
03-15 Oslo, Norway – Bla
04-16 Columbus, OH – The Basement *
04-17 Urbana, IL – Canopy Club *
04-18 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon *
04-20 Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theatre *
04-21 Iowa City, IA – The Blue Moose *
04-22 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall *
04-23 Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig *
04-28 San Diego, CA – Casbah *
04-30 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour *
05-01 San Francisco, CA – Independent *
05-03 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge *
05-04 Vancouver, British Columbia – The Biltmore Cabaret *
05-05 Seattle, WA – Neumo’s *
05-19 London, England – Scala
05-20 Salford, England – St. Phillips Church
05-21 Leeds, England – Brudenell Social Club
05-22 Glasgow, Scotland – Stag and Dagger Festival
05-24 Dublin, Ireland – Academy
05-25 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
05-29 Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Festival
06-02 Boston, MA – House of Blues ^
06-03 Boston, MA – House of Blues ^
06-04 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory ^
06-05 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory ^
06-06 Washington, DC – DAR Constitution Hall ^
06-08 Toronto, Ontario – Massey Hall ^
06-09 Toronto, Ontario – Massey Hall ^
06-16 New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall ^

# with Editors
* with Phantogram
^ with the National

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One Comment

  1. Yeah,same thing happens to us all – sometimes you just miss an album or, personally,I’ll sometimes leave an album altogehter because I’ve heard so much about it.
    It’s great to eventually discover something great.

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