By Shannon Carlin
The idea for the The Antlers’ new album Familiars was sparked by a moment of euphoria that frontman Peter Silberman experienced while alone at his parents house at the end of December in 2012. “There was a crazy snow storm and it was beautiful and very quiet and peaceful and I just remember walking around outside, coming up with the idea of the lyrics,” Silberman told Radio.com over the phone.
Those lyrics would become the album’s seventh track “Parade,” which talks about finding happiness in genuine connections, whether they’re with nature or other human beings. “But then when the streets get flooded, we know what proximity’s worth,” Silberman sings, “Because we’re already here in the same place when our phones don’t work.
“I was writing about a kind of euphoria that I had experienced at times in my life and any time I had it I would try to write something. It had been awhile since I actually experienced that though, it’s kind of like an old feeling and a new feeling at once,” he said. “This kind of exuberance was sort of like a rebirth, like a waking up from something. It got me really excited to work on new music.”
Silberman tends to be reading five or more books at the same time, a product, he says, of his “weird attention span.” While working on Familiars, Silberman was reading the Tibetan Book of Dead, along with other books about Eastern philosophy and mediation including the works of American mythologist, Joseph Campbell and Brave New World author Aldous Huxley. “I wasn’t necessarily reading them for the sake of them translating into the record, but it was sort of a natural part of the process for me,” he explained. “Whatever I’m reading ends up getting in my head and effects the way I write.”