Tiny Desk

The Antlers

Sometimes the good guys win. Back in January 2009, hardly anyone had heard of the rock band The Antlers. The trio, featuring Peter Silberman, Michael Lerner and Darby Cicci, had recently finished a homemade CD called Hospice. The three were playing a smattering of shows in noisy clubs and were lucky if 20 people showed up. Some of the more curious listeners would leave with one of those hand-pressed albums, not realizing what a rare collectible it would become.

In the months since, something happened. Fans fell in love with the three unassuming guys from Brooklyn, their epic and heartfelt shows and, most of all, Hospice. Frontman Silberman's elegy to a dying friend is full of tremendous grief and longing. But instead of evoking despair, the poetry, soaring orchestrations and Silberman's delicate falsetto left listeners in awe at how fragile and beautifully mysterious life can be. By August, Frenchkiss Records had given Hospice a proper release, while the band booked sold-out shows at the Bowery Ballroom in New York and other venues generally reserved for more established acts.

When a group of us from the NPR Music team caught a show by The Antlers in Washington, D.C., a year ago, the band was still finding its way. This past fall, when The Antlers played a sold-out concert at the CMJ Festival in New York, the group stunned listeners with its extraordinary range, moving seamlessly from quiet moments of grace to thundering swells of chaotic noise.

That said, for this Tiny Desk Concert performance, Silberman, Lerner and Cicci pulled way back and gave an amazing, stripped-down performance of three songs from Hospice: "Bear," "Atrophy" and the haunting "Sylvia." We couldn't have been happier to have them, or happier for the success the band has had this past year.

Set List

  • "Bear"
  • "Atrophy"
  • "Sylvia"

Credits

Bob Boilen (camera); edited by Michael Katzif; photo by May-Ying Lam

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Ben Folds

Performing solo, Folds performs three songs from his new album and two old favorites.

Tiny Desk Concert with Chelsea Wolfe. Ariel Zambelich/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Tiny Desk

Chelsea Wolfe

Wolfe takes three songs from the metallic Abyss and makes them howl by their lonesome.

Tiny Desk Concert with Car Seat Headrest. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Car Seat Headrest

Will Toledo is a wordsmith with a vision, as well as a DIY sound that's still finely crafted.

Tiny Desk Concert with EL VY. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tiny Desk

EL VY

The National's Matt Berninger and Menomena's Brent Knopf team up in an intimate setting.

Tiny Desk Concert with The Arcs. Jessica Mowery/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jessica Mowery/NPR

Tiny Desk

The Arcs

It's our 500th show at the Tiny Desk, featuring The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and his new band.

Tiny Desk Concert with Wolf Alice. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tiny Desk

Wolf Alice

The band's music can be noisy and primal, but at the Tiny Desk it showed a different side.

Tiny Desk Concert with River Whyless. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

River Whyless

The North Carolina band fills its rootsy music with unexpected instruments and clever ideas.

Tiny Desk Concert with Benny Sings. Morgan Walker/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Morgan Walker/NPR

Tiny Desk

Benny Sings

The Dutch singer layers R&B, jazz and pop over hip-hop beats in his first-ever U.S. appearance.

Tiny Desk Concert with Natalie Merchant Jun Tsuboike /NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike /NPR

Tiny Desk

Natalie Merchant

The singer-songwriter gives a warmhearted performance of two new songs, an old favorite and a hymn.

Tiny Desk Concert with Mariachi Flor De Toloache Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Mariachi Flor De Toloache

While on tour with The Arcs, the powerhouse mariachi band performs live in the NPR Music offices.

Back To Top