You probably know Peter Silberman as the lead figure of Brooklyn band The Antlers. His new solo EP Transcendless Summer is the result of an extended thought experiment, where Silberman worked with engineer Tim Shrout and his array of vintage gear, the only goal to “liberate the pent-up potential energy of the moment”. As such, the EP is itself vague and intuitive, well-composed but halfway amorphous, waiting to shift and fill the shape of whatever context or meaning the listener requires. Indeed, the music conjures a specific time and place for Silberman himself:
“Listening to its twenty minutes now, I experience a fleeting era distilled into a single day. I hear the first few miles of a long ride, hands released from handlebars’ grip, arms splayed out to the sides, coasting with abandon, rounding a blind corner without worry for what might slam into me beyond the immediately visible… These tracks have felt three summers melt away, relearning the same cruelty each year: that summer’s start initiates a countdown to its end, that the first day’s light stretches infinitely outward before shrinking back from a dilating night.”
The slow dawn drone of ‘i’ opens the release, the flutter and hum of one steady note playing like the gradual creep of sun over the land, bringing subtle changes to the tints and hues and angles of light. Following Silberman’s explanation, the track rarely changes dramatically in a short space of time yet seems to be constantly evolving, imparting the sense that what’s been has gone, and what is unfolding will surely follow.
‘ii’ sees something of a disruption, the ambient notes restless and skittish, all set against a background whoosh like that of some desert wind. This gale follows into ‘iii’, though here the instrumentation is warmer and perhaps most-recognisable as that of The Antlers main man, while ‘iv’ is more restrained, swapping out the carefree vibes for distant melancholy so it sounds less immediate, the memory of something dear weathered smooth by constant handling.
Transcendless Summer is out now on ANTI- and Transgressive Records and available on iTunes and Spotify. People Teeth are also making a run of cassettes to be released later in the year, which you can pre-order now. Also, Peter Silberman will head out on a solo tour at the end of the year to “debut new material, repurpose old Antlers songs, undertake covers, etc.”, which sounds like a pretty cool thing. He’s stopping off along the west coast of the US as well as two nights in London:
November 7 – Los Angeles, CA @ Resident
November 11 – San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall
November 14 – Seattle, WA @ Triple Door
November 16 – Portland, OR @ The Old Church
December 7 – London, UK @ Forge
December 8 – London, UK @ Forge
Cover photograph by Peter Silberman