The Antlers' 2009 album Hospice was the kind of feat no one would want to duplicate: It was audaciously beautiful and beloved by critics, but its wrenching songs reflect and expound upon highly specific personal losses for singer-guitarist Peter Silberman. Two years later, Burst Apart found The Antlers attempting to move on — still haunted by demons and ghosts, but nevertheless moving around in the world outside. Just the way Bon Iver can't make a whole career out of the breakups that inspired For Emma, Forever Ago, The Antlers' music ultimately has to address more than just the pain reflected in its debut.
With the July 24 release of a four-song EP titled Undersea, The Antlers' members complete their musical transition beyond outwardly expressed grief. A miniature concept album about water — both literal and as a metaphor for the way we interact with the world around us — Undersea conveys a fresh sense of calm for the Brooklyn band. For guys who specialize in music that storms and swirls portentously, Silberman and his bandmates wear contentment well.
Available for streaming on this page, the sweetly horn-infused "Drift Dive" will serve as most folks' introduction to Undersea. But on tomorrow's Summer Music Preview installment of All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton introduce an array of song premieres — including another track from Undersea, "Crest." The show also features never-before-heard music from forthcoming albums by Cat Power, The Avett Brothers, JEFF the Brotherhood and many more.
And, because I take every possible opportunity to poke tiny holes in Bob and Robin's happiness, this blog will also feature a premiere not on All Songs Considered: Check back first thing Tuesday morning to hear Best Coast's version of "Rhiannon," from a forthcoming compilation titled Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac.