Oh, the irony of my writing this on the first day of Daylight Saving Time. Back in November, to coincide with the autumn time change, The Antlers released Losing Light, a four-track sister EP to their 2021 full-length, Green to Gold. The LP came out nearly a year ago, but represented much more to the Brooklyn duo than simply a shift of the clocks. It was their first album in seven years. A bright return, the follow-up EP, Losing Light, carved into the space behind it to create depth and dimension with tracks that already enthralled us.
Described in press at the time of its release, the EP was a “surprise,” but nothing surprises me about a band who wants to toy with their first new material in almost eight whole years. Each track on Losing Light is a reimagined version of a cut from Green to Gold, yet the EP as a whole moves in unison. The new renditions came about from varying origins, including early demos or alternate studio versions with newly recorded pieces layered in, according to a PR statement from the band; they were clearly all produced and finalized at once, giving the impression of a standalone work.
There is an unavoidable implication of passing time and aging when established tracks are redone, and The Antlers embraced this as a main facet of their mission for Losing Light: “‘Green To Gold’ measures life’s changes over ordinary time, following the gradual and cyclical pace of nature. But once that story was established, I became eager to reinterpret it as if unstuck in time: how would these songs sound if they were being reconstituted from memory fifty years from now, after decades of technological evolution, alongside analog and digital degradation?”
Depending on your perspective, it can feel as though eons separate the EP’s opener, “Losing Light,” and closer, “Twas,” or it may feel as though the clocks have stopped altogether. There is a brief optimism that ties the EP at its start back to Green to Gold, but it is just a glimmer. Often the brooding production shrouds the original intentions of these tracks, placing us in an entirely new universe. The echoing vocals behind plucky guitars on “Losing Light” channel Fleet Foxes, and it even attempts to call their warmth, but the transition to “Volunteered” throws snow on the fire. An icy melody creates momentum for what is the EP’s longest track, and leads naturally into “G2G.” The percussion provides a unique texture to this track, one that is modest but reliable. By the time we reach the finale, “Twas,” which is a reimagining of “It Is What It Is,” the temporal theme becomes all too clear. Lyrics break up the droning production that carried over from the previous track, but ends with a similar sensation nevertheless. Ooh’s may appear in the background vocals on first verse, but when they return in the final moments, they are untethered and haunting.
Losing Light is a cosmic moment that happens to last approximately fifteen minutes in our reality. Though its release near the end of Daylight Saving Time parallels its own motif of lost time, I find that it has carried me through the dark months. With the sun now back in the evenings, I can appreciate the ebb and flow between Green to Gold and this EP more than ever.
Best Albums of 2021
7. The Antlers – Losing Light EP
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