The Antlers: Tiny Desk Concert For much of the past year, the band has stunned live audiences with its extraordinary range, moving seamlessly and gracefully from quiet, delicate moments to thundering swells of chaotic rock noise.

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

Chris Dave & The Drumhedz perform during a Tiny Desk concert, on Dec. 9, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Chris Dave And The Drumhedz

Chris Dave, your favorite musician's favorite drummer, takes listeners on a journey through a virtual record store, picking up different genres along the way and putting them in your bag.

Elisapie performs during tiny desk on November, 26, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Elisapie

The Canadian singer-songwriter gives a deep, soulful performance against a sometimes moody backdrop of bass saxophone and bowed guitars.

Snoh Aalegra plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Snoh Aalegra

The Iranian-Swedish singer draws her musical cues from Brandy and Sade while racking up a list of collaborators such as Vince Staples, James Fauntleroy and, most recently, Pharrell Williams.

Laura Stevenson performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 12, 2019. (Emily Bogle/NPR) Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Laura Stevenson

Backed by a small string section, Stevenson performed three songs that sounded so gorgeous, an actual marriage proposal broke out shortly after her set ended.

Mount Eerie plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Mount Eerie With Julie Doiron

Phil Elverum shares his open wounds — of death, love and the loss of love — in close harmonies, accompanied only by electric and nylon-string guitars.

Baby Rose plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Kisha Ravi/NPR). Kisha Ravi/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Kisha Ravi/NPR

Baby Rose

At 25, she mixes the bluesy melisma of Nina Simone and the deep register of Sarah Vaughan — two of her influences — with songwriting as devastating as her delivery.

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra performs during tiny desk on December, 4, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra

Here's a first: Steelpans at the Tiny Desk. It's true. Nearly a thousand performances into the series and the instrument has never been featured, until now.

Another Sky performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Dec. 5, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Another Sky

The strength of this London band is matching message with music. There's intensity and clear intention in their use of rock as an art.

SiR plays a Tiny Desk Concert bob boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption bob boilen/NPR

SiR

The R&B singer from Inglewood, CA made his performance a family affair, dedicating it to his late godson, with his mother and older brother on backup vocals.

Rising Appalachia performs during tiny desk on November, 19, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Rising Appalachia

The Atlanta-based band came to NPR in a van packed with a bodhrán (Irish drum), an ngoni (West African harp) a huge gourd, a cello, a baritone guitar and more.

Back To Top