I’m going to cut straight to the chase: I’m completely obsessed with The Antlers. With a fair amount of confidence, I can say Hospice will be my favorite album of 2009. I realize the year is only half over, but it’s that good. Here’s why.
For starters, Hospice is a complete album. “Two” is quite possibly my favorite song of all time. But as amazing as it is, the other nine tracks on the album are just as good. “Kettering” sounds ethereal, “Sylvia” soars to ridiculous heights, and “Epilogue” features some of the most gorgeous vocals I’ve ever heard. With the exception of the opening track (which is ambient), there is no filler.
Much like Frightened Rabbit’s Midnight Organ Fight, Hospice has many layers. Most tracks reveal their beauty only after repeated listens. The album is packed with so much emotion it’s almost overwhelming. I can’t imagine the events or experiences that inspired some of these songs (nor do I want to). But while there is an abundance of sadness and heartbreak, the album also contains moments of inspiration and joy. In short, Hospice is a roller coaster of emotion. Buckle up.