The Antlers’ Peter Silberman On the Books That Inspired New Album ‘Familiars’

Like any songwriter, The Antlers’ Peter Silberman draws inspiration from more than just his own experiences. As his band releases its heartfelt fifth album, Familiars, this week — one of Flavorwire’s June albums to hear — we asked Silberman, an avid reader, to curate a list of books that inspired the album.

The Antlers, from left:  Peter Silberman, Darby Cicci, Michael Lerner
The Antlers, from left: Peter Silberman, Darby Cicci, Michael Lerner

The first time many became aware of Silberman’s distinct songwriting point of view was in 2009, when The Antlers released Hospice. Throughout the album, Silberman uses an extended metaphor of a cancer patient and a hospice worker to speak to his experiences in an emotionally abusive relationships. No work had ever drawn from such a clinical inspiration with so much soul. In the Brooklyn band’s two albums since Hospice, Silberman has looked inward without elaborate concepts. But Familiars is also heavy on literary inspiration. Here are Silberman’s reflections on the books that informed the album’s composition, in a list that’s heavy on classic works, philosophy, and spirituality.