Perhaps what distinguishes Green to Gold from the rest of The Antlers’ canon is its, well, sunniness. Conceived and written almost entirely in the morning hours, Green to Gold is the band’s first new music in nearly seven years, and easily their most luminous to date. "I think this is the first album I’ve made that has no eeriness in it," singer and primary songwriter Peter Silberman asserts. "I set out to make Sunday morning music."
The brighter outlook emerged, paradoxically, after a succession of ominous events. Following 2014’s Familiars, it looked iffy whether there would even be another Antlers album, after the onset of Silberman’s auditory problems. Affecting his left ear, it was a condition that left him struggling to cope with commonplace noises. Feeling assailed by the cacophony of Brooklyn, it necessitated that he retreat to a less complicated, more serene world. So, leaving his band, he moved to Upstate New York in 2015, close to where he spent his childhood.
But he still felt the strong pull to spend time and work with longtime drummer Michael Lerner, and frequently invited him up to visit the idyllic hamlet he now called home. “I would record him playing drums in the studio while he listened to old soul and R&B songs in headphones. I couldn’t even hear those songs, I was just listening to him play along and hitting record,” laughs Silberman. “I just sensed we couldn’t begin with an entirely blank canvas, and those drum recordings ultimately served as starting points for the songs that followed. But at the time, we were merely attempting to make music together again, without really knowing how to approach it, or to what end.” A scrap of sound that they developed into a short, pastoral instrumental, unlike anything they had done before as The Antlers.
The biggest difference between Green to Gold and The Antlers’ back catalog is its arrival at a kind of quiet normalcy after a number of rather anxious records, in the same way Neil Young’s Harvest Moon does; a softer, gentler album that the august artist made after recovering from a case of tinnitus himself.
“Green to Gold is about this idea of gradual change,” sums up Silberman. “People changing over time, struggling to accept change in those they love, and struggling to change themselves. And yet despite all our difficulty with this, nature somehow makes it look easy.”