By Alec Warkentin
Very few artists flit with the emotional capacity of listeners quite as well as Peter Silberman, frontman and primary lyricist for indie-rock group The Antlers. On Impermanence, his first solo release, the man behind the devastating concept album Hospice, attempts to draw heavily on that same temporal vein. Unfortunately, he can’t quite seem to find it.
Much like the later years of post-rock pioneers Talk Talk, Impermanence focuses on wandering, forlorn guitar notes vibrating at a glacially slow-pace as Silberman’s falsetto croons across the album’s six tracks.
Unlike Talk Talk, however, Silberman provides little to no contrast or relief from wave after unrelenting wave of laments, resulting in a finished product that ultimately blends into an amorphous blob of muddled melancholia.
There are a few moments of saving grace, however, such as the nine-minute opener “Karuna,” which is ideally Silberman’s most successful attempt at the sound he was presumably going for, and “New York,” which features an almost Cohen-esque reverence and song structure.
In short, Impermanence showcases the sound and lyricism that Silberman has perfected over his many albums with The Antlers but ends up sabotaging itself by not letting the listener breathe for a damn moment.Impermanence, Peter Silberman