A Mix of Nostalgia and Emptiness
The Antlers band member Peter Silberman’s recent solo project is a seven-song work of art, drawing emotions from the classic theme of heartache. Impermanence is like an ode to the late Elliott Smith, while also holding onto modern folk, acoustic and lo-fi rock. It’s also reminiscent of indie artist Pete Yorn. While it seems like seven songs isn’t much to listen to, the shortest track ends at a little over 3 minutes long. With mostly 8-minute-long tracks that wind through strong, harrowing transitions between instrumental solos and vocals, Silberman’s craftsmanship stands out as a musician, a lyricist and a vocalist.
Silberman, a Brooklyn native, released a video at the beginning of the year for the song “New York.” The video showcases exactly what the listener is getting into when they purchase his album: a mix of nostalgia and emptiness. Silberman opted for simplicity — maybe because this was his first solo project — but the effort that was put in for the listeners shows. While his solo project sounds like his work with The Antlers, it is still distinctly different in one big way: The Antlers are often categorized as experimental rock, while Silberman’s solo project relies mostly on just acoustic guitar. Of course, aspects of The Antlers certainly exist through the usage of choir parts, along with the long beginnings and piano excerpts. Yet the way that Silberman croons varies slightly, with his voice being incredibly soft on most of the songs.
While the majority of Impermanence‘s works may drag on for some, people who love instrumental rock like The Album Leaf and Explosions In The Sky will appreciate these long openings. Each riff holds the feeling of emptiness and sadness, which is apparent from the first song to the last. Silberman knows exactly how to make a person tear up, which isn’t surprising, considering his work with The Antlers, whose music is incredibly depressing at times. They haven’t released anything since 2014, though, so the Silberman solo project is going to be the next best bet for listeners craving a daily dose of melancholy.
The emotions behind Impermanence are not difficult to catch on to, which aides in the raw feeling behind the musical arrangements and lyrics. These arrangements are able to accurately tell a story that is both heart wrenching and depressing. While heartbreak is a common topic, Silberman tackles a musical genre that has been left behind as music has changed over the years, making his take feel a bit fresher. Music like this has often stayed underground, unheard of, like Carissa’s Wierd, who championed in depressing, indie-rock songs.
The best part about this album is that it isn’t too similar to anyone else within the genre, and even though the songs are incredibly long, they are wholesome, meaningful pieces. Overall, Impermanence is refreshing for the genre, which often doesn’t have many standout artists anymore. Although Silberman isn’t making any tour stops along the West coast anytime soon, the album is available to stream and purchase online.