A couple weeks ago, legendary shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine released their first album in twenty-two years. The press surrounding the release of m b v was as extensive as any I’ve seen for a musical release in quite a long time. Why? What’s the big deal about this band coming back after so long?
The performance was viscerally compelling. Immersed in evolving harmonies and asymmetrical rhythms, I found myself transported to a space outside the predictable and rigid schedules of junior spring, of deadlines and word counts, into a rustic, sunlit world where patterns existed to be deconstructed and reformed.
“These are Alma’s and the film’s first words. A cynic will scoff, but no, give a serious thought to this idea. How many of us have the courage to dream – how many of us have the courage to dispense with cynicism and see our dreams come true?”
When the Antlers released Hospice in 2009 on Frenchkiss Records, the band established itself as a project of personal catharsis for its frontman, Peter Silberman. Designated a concept album, Hospice channeled Silberman’s past romantic failures into a story of two individuals confined to a cancer ward: a hospice worker and the terminally ill patient he gradually falls in love with.
“To convert political horror into comedy might only be possible at the risk of transposing the profundity of mass death, racism, greed and systemic terror into something as trivial as quibbles over funeral decorations.”