Peter Silberman’s first solo release continues the emotional journey he began over a decade ago with The Antlers. Much of The Antlers sound can be heard in this six track album, yet this is a much more personal and introspective piece of work. No doubt this can be attributed to the unexpected injury Silberman suffered whilst making this record, developing loud tinnitus in his left ear that resulted in total hearing loss for a period of time. The condition required extensive rest and quiet, and in order to get that, he left his Brooklyn apartment for a more secluded setting in upstate New York.
Over a period of months, songs emerged from the deep quiet, each sparse and minimal but with a true warmth shining through. Silberman has been meticulous about only saying what needs to be said. Nowhere is this articulated in more stunning fashion than in the second single from the album, “New York”, a song where the singer feels total estrangement from his native city which has become unrecognisable through the dissociation of sounds that where once there.
This is music that is not crammed with sound; the spaces between the words lend a higher importance to the words and songs themselves with that an economy of expression. “I wanted to avoid crowding the central message with high-density lyrics. Instead, the songs are anchored by simple mantras, leaving room for contemplation,” Silberman has said.
Silberman has linked up with long-time friend and collaborator, Nicholas Principe of Port St. Willow, and Principe engineered the album in his upstate People Teeth studio, contributing production throughout. Together, they have engineered music that allows the distance between notes to be elongated between chords with minimal arrangements to allow breathing room and to appreciate the sonic space within. This album should not be regarded as an experiment in ambience as it traces the stages of healing for Silberman himself. The songs chart a circular course between distress and peace with the final track returning you to the mood of the first. Impermanence provides comfort through transition, reflection, warmth and Silberman’s vocals.
“I hope Impermanence can provide comfort to people grappling with transition, while remaining honest about it. There’s no remedy for the unpredictable, and I want this record to reflect that, to offer an alternative way to think about changing circumstances,” said Silberman, perfectly summing up the mood of the album.