Album Review: Impermanence
Artist: Peter Silberman (of The Antlers)
Released: February 24 2017
Reviewed by: Cindy Nguyen
Peter Silberman’s solo debut, Impermanence, is filled with minimalistic guitar playing and the soft crooning of his vocals all while reminding us that silence is indeed golden. Silberman’s work with his band, The Antlers, has produced nothing but emotional, heart-wrenching songs and his solo work continues this trend. This time, his album is centered on a temporary hearing loss he developed towards the end of The Antler’s Familiars tour. His hearing loss began to consume his life to the point where it hurt hear his own voice. On Impermanence, Silberman’s vocals are liken to hushed whispers and on various occasions, his songs fill with pauses of silence. The silence acts as a complementary accompaniment to his singing and it works well together as it allows listeners to gain glimpses into his internal struggles on his hearing. For Silberman, silence was his coping mechanism, it was all he wanted as he went through this tumultuous period in his life, and he incorporates it fittingly into his music in various ways. For instance, on the song “Ahimsa,” he sings “take a pause / instead of deafening nonsense / just silence / no violence today,” explaining how silence can stop a growing conflict. This is also reflected in the song’s title as “Ahimsa” translates to compassion and nonviolence towards all living things. In Buddhism, impermanence means nothing lasts and everything decays, that things come into being, but then eventually dissolves. Fortunately for Silberman, his hearing loss was only temporary and from that experience he has the melancholic Impermanence to share, showing everyone that silence helps in more ways than one can imagine.