The Antlers – Hospice

In a similar fashion to the Peter Broderick record, this is a 2009 release, but once again I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake and getting my hands on the thing.  I have to admit, I’ve been downloading records a bit more, simply cause they are cheaper.  But I feel a little dirty.  As somebody who really likes to own the product rather than simply the data, I do find it extremely hard to not just buy the cds.  However, as money is a little tight at the moment, I decided to buy some things as mp3 albums which works out at about half the cost of a cd or less.

It’s really hard not to get excited about this record.  In the first instance it’s a brave piece of music making in my mind.  It cannot have been easy or comfortable to write a whole record about the death of a loved one at the hands of cancer.  Even harder to take such an emotional and dark subject matter and not make the record a bleak, horrible listen.  And I admit that one of my concerns about this record prior to listening to it was the subject matter at hand.  Was it possible to not make such a difficult topic anything but difficult to listen to?  And the answer is an overwhelming yes.  This is a stunningly beautiful record which deals with death, loss and pain in the most subtle and wondrous way.  I guess the subject pushes the artist into a very uncomfortable place and perhaps this is what I love about this record.  The challenge of creating something so beautiful from something so tragic.  And at no point whilst listening to this record do I feel sad.  ‘Kettering’ is one of the most sublime songs I’ve listened to in a long, long time.  The true beauty of this record is that despite the words and content being dark, the music is never anything but uplifting.  It addresses the sadness with real and intense beauty.  The dark with light.  And it works on every level.  I have listened to it on repeat constantly since the weekend.  I am blown away with the brilliance of this record.  Not only as a piece of music dealing with such an emotive issue, but as a piece of music in its own right.  It wasn’t on my top 10 list that I sent to Peenko for his overall bloggers top 10, but I really do think that it deserves a place on a revised top 10 for this blog.  Both this and Peter Broderick’s record have made my weekend a wonderful place musically.  You can check out The Antlers here.  Enjoy.

TSP Grade = A


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