City Paper is not for tourists
In the years since their 2009 album, Hospice, the Antlers have moved away from static, heavy sounds and stories of bone cancer and begun creating modern soul music inspired by Alice Coltrane and Miles Davis. But don’t confuse this sonic change for a thematic turnabout: Their brand of soul sounds almost as depressing as the cancer did. The band’s fifth album, Familiars, delivers its deeply brooding emotions through synthesizer tones, lonely piano melodies, and funereal trumpets that lead long, woeful ballads. Though he’s not crying into the microphone like he did on Hospice, vocalist Peter Silberman still croons sad songs in a boyish, slightly spooky voice that’s propped up by plenty of ethereal reverb. Songs like “Hotel” and the album’s lead single, “Palace,” venture into spacey prog-rock compositions, and despite the melancholy mood, these are songs you can jam to while sighing about the missed potential of your teenage years. The Antlers perform with Mr. Twin Sister at 6 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 265-0930. 930.com.