New Music: The Antlers - Hospice

I'm always a little torn about reading record reviews. In fact, I've been boycotting reading any reviews (especially on Pitchfork) of albums I haven't heard yet. I've found myself not giving many albums enough of a shot because P4K gave them a bad review. On the flip side a few times I've read a review of an album that I gave up on because the review convinced me to give it another chance. That's what happened with The Antlers new record, Hospice. I had downloaded this off emusic when they self-released it earlier this year and after giving it a spin or two, didn't really think it was that interesting. Many times I listen to new music while doing something else, which means if it doesn't catch my ear instantly, I've overlook some really great stuff.

Well the album is getting an official label release (physically out August 18th...digitally available now) from Frenchkiss and it's starting to get a bit more buzz from music sites and blogs. One of my favorite blogs posted this review of Hospice and it can sum up the record way better than I could. That review made me want to at least give the album another chance with my full attention and I'm really glad I did.

See, this isn't an album that will be at the top of everyone's year end lists. It will be on a few, possibly even more than I'm guessing, but the ones that it does appear on, it will be in the top 10. I'm a big fan of records like this, that have a running theme without being a concept album. I love albums with epic highs and lows like this one has. It's emotional and powerful without being too heavy-handed or inaccessible. Like I said, it definitely isn't going to do it for everyone, but many who stumble across this album will find themselves with one of their favorite and most listened to albums of the year.

They don't have a full tour in support of the re-release lined up quite yet, but if they do and are playing Lawrence or KC, you'll read about it here.


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