In the Attic of the Universe
Somewhere Peter Silberman is chuckling, saying to himself, “Now what’s all this fuss over In Rainbows?” Back in March, the 21-year-old Brooklynite—recording under the moniker The Antlers—made his album In the Attic of the Universe available for free download. The against-the-grain move had the exact effect he desired: More than 10,000 people downloaded the eight-song set, leading to Fall Records now releasing it on disc. Opener “In the Attic” lays it all out: over woozy shimmering come melodic piano lines, climactic drum beats and folk guitar that oscillates between plaintive strumming and forceful freak-outs. The track’s lead-in sonic clutter betrays the album’s roots—recorded in Silberman’s Manhattan apartment and outside a farmhouse—and inadvertently hints at non-consumerism-vs.-consumerism themes. The stark “In the Snow” is all Silberman falsetto and sourpuss phrasing, while “Shh!” is unworthy of its exclamation point: A restrained instrumental filled with spacey piano/organ comet tails. The Antlers’ psych-folk and lo-fi flings call to mind several contemporaries (i.e., Grizzly Bear and the Microphones), but fail to replicate their prodigious efforts.