in Music

Underrated Artist: The Antlers

The Antlers is a music group that makes songs that taste like honeyed black tea on a rainy day.

To put it in other words, The Antlers is the perfect blend of electronic, indie, and folk that one could possibly wish for, swirled into a cacophony of pleasurable sounds that never gets old.

The merit of this band is tri-fold.

The first is that there is always something new to be discovered in the music. They aren’t the type of artist to stick to one monochromatic beat, or even, one monochromatic range. The Antlers is diverse, ranging from simple, repetitive melodies to artistically noisy swells of metallic beats. Each of their songs is multi-layered, offering something new each time you listen to it. The music remains interesting, no matter if it’s the first or the hundredth time that you have listened to the same song.

The second is the self-reflection in their songs. You can tell by the way each song is crafted that the artists have thought about exactly what they are trying to accomplish in their music. Whether it’s a swelling crescendo throughout the entire song, or just a simple bass pulse, they assume their listeners are smart, and really communicate a message to them through the music. In addition to that, a lot of the songs build on each other. You cannot listen to just one song out of the track listing of one of their albums. In order to understand what they are trying to accomplish, you must listen to their entire album, from beginning to end, without skipping around to different tracks. A heralding back to old vinyl records where you weren’t able to pick and choose what songs you wanted to listen to, their albums aren’t chopped into tiny pieces, but rather, an uninterrupted train of transitions and emotional journey.

The third is the poetic nature of the themed albums that they release. My personal favorite album – a cult classic – is titled Hospice. It details an abusive relationship, told through the eyes of a hospice worker and the ill patient that he has fallen in love with. Rather than the oft-heard “boy loves girl, girl loves boy, sad breakup” pop song that has dominated mainstream markets, The Antlers gives incredibly thought-provoking content to their songs.

Classical song literature was always about telling a story; whether it was through the ballads written by Homer, or the operas written by Mozart, the point of music has always been to tell a story. Any sort of music should have a beginning, middle, and end, and take the listeners on an emotional journey. This idea has been lost in recent years, traded for catchy and repetitive lyrics that, while great for dancing, are not exactly saturated with story. The Antlers offers songs that are works of poetic art, the lyrics of which can be analyzed and dissected, peeled back layer by layer like an onion.

And Hospice is certainly an album to cry over. With mournful wailing, the final song titled “Epilogue” is enough to make anyone reflect on what they would do, were they in the “hospice-workers” situation.

The Antlers is a music group that is unlike any sort of music you will be able to hear on the radio. Smart, poignant, and expressive, The Antlers have created music that is truly a feast for your mind, and your ears.