Whether it’s the goal or method of art to turn complex thought into pure emotion, The Antlers are masters of their craft. The Brooklyn band frequently finds impetus in heady conceits, like on 2009’s Hospice, for which vocalist and guitarist Peter Silberman compared an emotionally abusive romantic relationship to the interactions of a hospice worker and a terminally-ill patient, and this year’s Familiars is no exception, as it turns the Tibetan Buddhist notion of bardo, a state of being between incarnations, as the locus for a dialog of multiple selves. But none of that’s likely to register as you’re swept away by the band’s dreamy ambient-pop melodies. Familiars is felt in the heart, not the head, so much that you’ll find it hard to keep from tearing up as you watch the band perform four songs from it in this gorgeous in-studio session:
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