Album review: The Antlers – ‘Green To Gold’: a safe haven in a frugal year

ONE OF the most anticipated albums in an otherwise frugal year, Green To Gold is the new album by The Antlers, after a hiatus during which their frontman, Peter Silberman, released a very well-received solo album. It is an album that will (and is) summon an accolade of enthusiastic reception, due to its therapeutic, gentle sound which is perfectly in tune with the current zeitgeist.

All the songs share some sort of nuptial stride and the dazzling reverberations of their guitars, Silberman’s soft murmuring or falsetto contribute to the impression of a soothing album, that’s meant to provide a sort of safe haven after more than a year of suffering, more or less pronounced for everybody.

Of course, The Antlers are known for cathartic, spiritual music since their harrowing debut, Hospice, which recounted the experience of visiting a terminal patient in a more distraught and heart-wrenching way than the bucolic, early summer views of Green To Gold. This album takes from Silberman’s later experiences as solo artist, in which he delivered reconciliation in a very enticing spiritual journey. Some of the songs here are clearly inspired by Impermanence (“Volunteer”).

This album does not stray from his undeniable qualities as a songwriter but relays an even more placated version of his music, full of visions of country houses, porches and rocking chairs. The singles especially have this “country” feeling, apart from the music, of going back to a pristine Eden where life is still normal despite everything (“It Is What It Is”, “Wheels Roll Home”), of course devoid of celebrations of the “old times” but certainly suggesting Silberman’s stoic approach to life.

In the end, regardless of the many enjoyable songs on the album and the sheer beauty of its sound, including some chamber-jazz arrangements (“Porchlight”), the album overall comes off as a tad too consolatory, lacking the depth of previous releases by Silberman/The Antlers. Of course, they still remain a point of reference in contemporary music.

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