Hospice is the best record this year that I have absolutely no desire to revisit anytime soon. Brooklyn’s Antlers have crafted an impressively assured album with beauty oozing from every moody track, recalling the crystalline ambience of Sigur Rós one second (“Kettering”) and a sleepier Arcade Fire the next (“Two”). But the concept behind this concept album — a man witnessing his loved one painfully die of bone cancer — is really fucking depressing. Frontman Peter Silberman scripts a crushingly bleak mortality play, packed with upsetting details like “shining children’s heads” and “hundreds of thousands of hospital beds.” It’s heavy stuff, but occasionally the music buoys the subject matter like a fleeting happy memory. Besides, Silberman warns us up front how the story ends, singing, “I didn’t believe them/ When they told me that there was no saving you.”
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