I first heard of The Antlers earlier this year because of a random recommendation online, and was hooked upon the first listening of their debut concept album Hospice. I've gone back and listened to one of his three EP's, In the Attic of the Universe, and have confirmed that The Antlers are here to stay. Luckily, within the last couple months, their album starting popping up on all the music review sites with reviews talking about how they were going to be on their albums of the year lists. Both releases have the same kind of ambient/soundscape interludes and soft vocals, which at times take a surprising turn to an incredibly high falsetto.
Hospice is an overload of emotions. The music and lyrics drag you through one of life's most tragic situations: a loved one battling cancer. It's a horrible experience that I hope none of my closest friends or family will ever have to go through, especially after I heard this album. It's not an easy album to get through, especially if you think about the people in our own lives. The perspective switches back and forth from the patient to her husband, from rage to love, and from denial to acceptance. It's a beautiful album, with a beautiful message. True love is worth anything.
Most of the time, when you're a sponsored amateur skateboarder, tearing your ACL is one of the worst things that can happen to you. The good news it that Jason Lytle started focusing on his second love: creating music. He's been around since 1992, and finally became well known in the late 90's. He wrote all the music and lyrics, recorded all the instruments, and produced every song on all of their major releases. In my opinion, he's one of the best musicians of the last decade. Due to personal and financial reasons, the "band" (his friends who would tour with him) decided to call it quits after their last album "Just Like the Fambly Cat". But that didn't stop Jason. Three years later, he releases one of the best albums of the year this last May, "Yours Truly, The Commuter".
Grandaddy's sound is hard to describe. They have so much material that they can fit in multiple genres: acoustic, alternative, pop, electronic/ambient, hard rock, country, and the list goes on. Most of the songs talk about how we depend on technology too much, and that we need to get back in touch with each other and nature, especially on The Sophtware Slump album. And there are even a few songs that I consider to be some of the best love songs I've ever heard, but not in a happy way. They describe more of the seedy underbelly of love: longing for someone, love lost, and loneliness. Usually I'm not into these kind of sappy songs, but they helped me cope with the normal teenage problems that we've all been through, and I can't deny that nostalgia now. They also have some songs that I believe are just meant for fun. Songs that point out things in life that are just there to enjoy: animals, skateboarding, road trips, the mall, and all kinds of adolescent mischief; just some great pop/alternative songs.
Each album has its own emotions attached to it, and they're all great, but here they are in my order of favorite to least favorite:
The Diary of Todd Zilla (all their styles are covered in this fantastic album, check it out first)
The Sophtware Slump
Yours Truly, The Commuter
Just Like the Fambly Cat
Under the Western Freeway
Listen to some of these songs and let me know what you think:
For the Dishwasher
At My Post
Rear View Mirror
Where I'm Anymore
He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot
Underneath the Weaping Willow
OK With My Decay
The Warming Sun
Birds Encouraged Him