To little fanfare, Brooklyn trio The Antlers released one of the best records of 2009, in their third album ‘Hospice’. Great as that record was – in places, it even touched on the genuinely superb – it’s reassuring to know that new LP ‘Burst Apart’ isn’t more of the same. Like The National, The Antlers are an intelligent, emotionally driven indie band, who impress more and more with each album. Stylistically, this is a more varied effort than their last – from ‘I Don’t Want Love’, which is like Jeff Buckley for a new millennium (frontman Peter Silberman’s falsetto feels like a tidal wave restrained, floodgates only just held shut), to the taut, highly strung feel and brittle beats of ‘Parenthesis’.

Some albums ooze class, and this is one of them; while far from a neon-bright collection of indie-pop hooks, it’s something that feels more substantial, a slow-burning and ultimately highly rewarding piece of music. What the album lacks in a standout ‘pop’ moment, it more than makes up for with heavyweight songwriting and lyrical finesse.

By Chris Watkeys

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