EP Corner: The Antlers – Undersea
Released: 23/07/2012 on Transgressive
Often album and EP names don’t give a great clue to what is contained therein. This is not the case with Undersea. The Brooklyn heart-wrenchers have delivered an EP which on their own website they describe as “the serenity of drifting off to sleep or of sinking to the bottom of the ocean.” And if this was what they are aiming for then they have definitely hit it squarely on the nose.
‘Drift Dive’ entices us under the waves with a gentle guitar riff which immediately conjurs up images of dancing hula girls and even a dreamy harp evoking undersea beauty. It may sound like I’m describing something from the soundtrack of The Little Mermaid but its execution is such that even though the EP has a kind of concept it is never too try-hard or to the detriment of the music.
Second track ‘Endless Ladder’ is probably the most ambient sounding track on the EP and at a cool eight and a half minutes long it has enough depth to really draw you in. Peter Silberman’s fragile and distinctive vocal is the perfect accompaniment and never overpowers the music.
‘Crest’ is a little deeper and darker sounding – beginning with an almost submarine-like sound and developing into something languid and affecting which reminds me a little of Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’. It's probably my favourite track from the EP.
This would be best listened to with good headphones and a large glass of red – perhaps in the bath if you really want to get the full effect. Dreamy, hypnotic and stunningly beautiful, it may not pack the same level of melancholic emotional punch as some previous outings (‘Hospice’ in particular) but the strength of the music definitely allows this EP to stand proudly among everything The Antlers have ever done. Highly recommended.