You’ve heard and read about their first single Drift Drive here. You have anticipated long enough for the entire release. And here you have it, after Burst Apart, The Antlers’ freshly released 4-track EP Undersea.
The opener Drift Drive sounded incredible and had won my heart over to count down to the day the entire record is released. Speaking about the new record, the band described, “an EP in length, but well beyond that in scope”.
Endless Ladder is the centerpiece of Undersea, prolonging over eight and a half minutes (as the title suggests). Contra to Drift Drive, this track isn’t quite as successful. It didn’t captivate me entirely. The same tendencies of the plinking keyboard, constant synths and dead drumming lost me after a minute or so. A dreary one.
Crest then dives into a very jazzy and smooth consistency. This consistency alleviates till the chorus, where frontman Peter Silberman bursts into “closer to trouble / much much further” with a fair amount of intensity and tension which I thought was necessary, and became the soul of the song.
Then there is Zelda. Zelda is a very strong reminiscent of Epilogue from Hospice, with opening lyrics “Zelda, you asked me to wake you / If I woke up before you / And you were still stuck inside / I’m here to tell you we’re not awake yet”. But this time, Silberman's vocals have softened, and the sound of the horn, guitar riffs and harmonised falsetto cooing are meshed perfectly here. It's a crisp-sounding, nuanced track that highlights all the right things about the band. Personally I think this is the most soulful track off Undersea.
Just when you are blending into the sounds of Undersea, you realise that is the end. It’s over. However, it isn’t what you would call an abrupt ending to the album. It is The Antlers who made you get too comfortable and intoxicated with their sound and eventually crave for more.
Undersea is a leap from their previous records, namely Hospice and Burst Apart, of which the tracks are pretty much tell-all narratives; the four tracks on Undersea are sparse, more detached and non-committed. It is also very evident that Undersea has a slightly different sound (apart from being aquatic and nautical), shading largely over ambient. “An EP in length, but well beyond that in scope” –CHECKED! Assuming this new sound is an experiment by the sad, slowcore trio to see if it would have good response, then yes, I love it. I really love Undersea tremendously. It is definitely one of my favouritestestest amongst all the new releases lately!
You can stream the EP on their Facebook page!