It’s been two years since The Antlers released Hospice, a harrowing concept about cancer that was all mechanical whirrs and haunting falsetto. Since then then they’re expanded their sound to include a remix album (Together) and Burst Apart which was a much easier listen than its predecessor.
Undersea, a four track EP sees them evolve even further and like Hospice’s hospital machinery, the underwater theme is strong with haunting synths and enough reverb to make it sound like the entire thing was recorded in a submarine.
Undersea is their most sonically interesting release to date. All four of the songs provide something different and there isn’t a bad track among them.
Drift Dive is nothing short of gorgeous with subtle horns and echoey synths.
Endless Ladder comes in at over eight minutes and while the lyrics don’t offer the emotional punch of previous records the repetitive backing vocals and delicate keys make it perfect late night driving music. Crest is the shortest track and adheres to the theme the least. Not that that’s a complaint as it’s as good as anything on Burst Apart.
If you’re attracted to the emotional intensity of The Antlers, you may be left disappointed. But for everyone else this is a quality EP that is hopefully a sign of things to come.