If you're familiar with indie rock band The Antlers, you're already aware of the ability of Peter Silberman. The Antlers' frontman is here with his debut record Impermanence, and it's come in the form of one of the rawest and most beautiful indie / ambient records you may hear this year.
The Antlers have a very honest tone to their music, and Silberman takes that to the next level on Impermanence. This album features very sparse percussion and meat to it, but it fills the gap with pure atmosphere and emotion. The album begins with the slow and dark 'Karuna,' the guitar ringing out into oblivion slowly and moodily, almost sensually. It seems distant and longing before the song even progresses. Silberman's voice comes in damaged and in despair, longing and hurt, a chilling vibrato in his voice resonating with the atmosphere of the track. A subtle build occurs near the end, the passion culminating more to bring the track to a sort of emotional climax. It's brilliantly constructed and drawn out, and while it may seem long, it could only be delivered in such a way.
There's a perfect balance of space on this record. Not everything has to be filled to the brim with some sort of sound. The way things reverberate through the bones of every track seem to resonate the sam way within the listener. 'Maya' is a track that truly embodies this. It's a very laidback and aesthetic track. Imagine sitting alone at a paradise island as the sun sets over the ocean, a rainstorm on its way. And while you're watching it alone, you remember loving memories in a black and white filter. There's a brilliance in the way this track creates such vivid colors while centering itself about the black and white memories makes this track so beautiful and longing.
Atmosphere is the other key component of this record. 'New York' is one of the most atmospheric tracks on the record, it's lo-fi guitar ringing with a lot of emotion above Silberman's hauntingly beautiful voice. It's so gentle that it's almost like you're floating on water (probably not the Hudson River though). Even the less-fulfilling tracks on this record are laced with extremely powerful atmosphere. 'Gone Beyond' and 'Ahmisa' both revolve around the same repetitive phrases above their instrumentals, but never fail to create beautiful images in their repetition. The album ends on the quiet instrumental 'Impermanence,' bringing the album to a peaceful conclusion as it sort of fades out.
You may not hear something more beautiful than Impermanence this year, or maybe ever. Peter Silberman bears his soul in Impermanence, painting beautiful, vivid soundscapes with beautiful colors while centering his messages on the black and white memories that you would hold dearest. It's one of the purest things you'll hear, and you can tell it comes from the heart, because it'll forever be in yours.
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Favorite Tracks: Maya, Karuna, New York
Least Favorite Track: Impermanence
Rating: 92 / 100
Buy or listen to Impermanence here: