Top 2011 Albums
16. The Antlers - Burst Apart
Ok, so I cry every time I listen to Hospice. Seriously, by the time “Two” fades out into silence my eyes are bawling. It’s irresistible for me to let it affect me; I enjoy knowing that music makes me cry. Ya, but Burst Apart is different. Not only because it is much richer instrumentally, also because there are not as many emotional thematic bombs thrown around as in Hospice. The songs are not lyrically driven; instead, Burst Apart opts for a fuller band sound.
The main reason I consider this album my 16th favorite of 2011 is because it’s really pretty. Most tracks have a moment of embellishment, where the disturbance of Peter Silberman’s voice shatters into a beautiful and pristine soundscape and my mind fills the tracks with imagery. As in the moment Peter utters “prove to me” in “Putting the Dog to Sleep”, and a bold guitar that strikes the cracking song. Like the synthetic drone in “French Exit” that suddenly takes on the track, and the descending three chords that momentarily leave the morose band down on the ground as they pump the heavens with light. Or the noticeably absent drums in “Rolled Together” that eventually brighten the iteration of the song, giving them a second life. Or, of course, every time Peter voices the track title over a beautiful turning point in “I Don’t Want Love”.
Burst Apart makes me think of cold dark colors and concealment. When I listen to “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out” in the car, my eyes drift off towards the Universe and I feel trapped in the little corner in my seat. I thought of a special connection to this song because I constantly dream about my teeth falling down (I don’t know what a dream analyzer would say about me). “Hounds” is the musicalization of any of my downed days locked inside my room. I’ve never really cared about the lyrics, but I do care about their intention. I realize that Burst Apart is filled with repetition, there’s not a single glint of urgency, and the song paces seamlessly through structures and melodies. When the song is ending, and all is left is a moaning falsetto and horns, I feel that a human emotion had to be captured to make a moment like this.
The dynamism of Burst Apart fights off the repetitiveness through the tracks. These showers of light make the record a very vivacious journey, one that is simply delivered through an indie rock aesthetic.