Hospice - Frenchkiss
FILTER Grade: 87 %
By Breanna Murphy on December 22, 2009
The first Antlers release to incorporate more than just singer and songwriter Peter Silberman, Hospice accomplishes volumes (quite literally) by the addition of drummer Michael Lerner and multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci, creating an expansively profound album addressing life’s most transitory and fragile states. While existentialism isn’t a particularly groundbreaking concept for musicians, rarely has it been done with this level of sophistication and honesty. “Kettering” would start it all at the end, as our protagonist softly relays his grievances at the deathbed of the terminally ill. “You said you hated my tone/it made you feel so alone/so you told me I had to be leaving/but something kept me standing by that hospital bed/I should have quit/but instead I took care of you.” Though it’s the unseen subject that’s leaving this earth, Silberman’s vocal anguish does enough haunting for the both of them. As the album progresses from “Prologue” to “Epilogue,” nothing gets any less difficult—and how could it when everything is tumbling towards death?—but the band’s examination of how two people can try to say “I’m sorry” before the last goodbye tugs at the heartstrings with exertive force each and every listen.