There's something about a haunting piano that always does it for me. It has to be in a minor key, a sequence of notes emitting from the ivory that is just as awkward as it is melancholy. The wind blows with the whistles that emit from the prior "Prologue" that lead in to this piano that fades in ever so slowly yet almost all at once on "Kettering". It's there in the forefront, surrounded by the foggy ambiance before Peter Silberman's vocal comes to the bedside of a dying friend, confidant, lover. With every line delivered, Silberman sounds like he's licking his lips to let people know his fragile voice is emitting something.
The song is as sad as the bio that goes with Hospice, the second full length from The Antlers. Silberman locked himself in his room essentially, emerging with home demos of skeletons in the closet that make up the ten track opus. But this song is so strong and the image on the album's cover above, the hand of a committed patient and what is to be believed their closest kin, seems to fit right in with this song and the album's theme. When reading over the lyrics it sounds like they tried to help, that bedside friend, tried to save them, but came up short. Instead they sat there; they could have left at any time but instead they stayed through every painstaking moment, taking on all the pain they could.
Oh, yes, the rest of the album is good, too, but this song is just painstakingly beautiful.
Stream: "Kettering" [MySpace] // [Buy Here]