In Opening Track, we take an early look at forthcoming records that we’re excited about. Today, we check in with Darby Cicci of Brooklyn-based indie-folk band The Antlers, who will release Burst Apart May 10 on Frenchkiss Records.
Why we’re excited: The Antlers’ previous album Hospice was one of our favorite albums of 2009. A haunting concept record about a cancer patient and a man caught up in a doomed love affair, Hospice isn’t exactly a breezy listen, but it’s the sort of grandly ambitious statement that makes us curious about what the Antlers will do next.
What we’ve heard: Cicci admits that the success of Hospice was a “total mindfuck” for the band. “It’s easy to make records when you’re not sure anyone’s going to listen to them,” he says. “Thankfully a lot of the time was spent on tour for Hospice. We weren’t stuck in a studio trying to figure out what to do.” Touring also bonded The Antlers into a working band; Hospice began as a solo project for singer-songwriter Peter Silberman, who drafted support musicians during the making of the record. For Burst Apart, The Antlers headed into the studio with a road-tested line-up, which helped the band “in a million ways,” Cicci says. “We’ve become really good friends, and know each styles and sensibilities really well. We can go into studio and work, and not have to give each other directions.”
While Burst Apart doesn’t follow a strict concept-record template, it is intended to be consumed as a complete album and not just a collection of songs. “Music has always been albums, it’s never been songs for me,” Cicci says. “The silence between Side A and Side B is one of the most important qualities of a record, where you put that silence. The order of these songs was put in place before the songs were even written. It’s always been about the arc more than anything.”
Retaining the epic feel of Hospice while adding a dash of lightness and hope, Burst Apart could be the album that breaks The Antlers to a bigger audience. But Cicci isn’t thinking too much about that. “What can you do as a band? You can play bigger shows, have more fans, have songs in more TV shows and movies. You just grow. We’re not going to win the Nobel Prize. That would be cool, though.”
Have a listen: Check out the slippery “Parentheses” from Burst Apart.