The Antlers Return With “Ahimsa”
The Antlers return with new single “Ahimsa”, the track is the follow-up to the duo’s Losing Light EP, which dropped in November. “Ahimsa” first came to light on Peter Silberman’s solo album Impermanence back in 2017. It has since become a mainstay of The Antlers’ live set, with the full band’s input adding further warmth and rich tones to its important message of compassion. The band closed shows with it on their last tour; a parting thought to the audience as the song’s meaning has deepened over time.
Silberman explains, “The original version had a patient tempo, spare instrumentation and hypnotic circular delays. It was intended as a meditation on the Buddhist notion of “non-harming”, which is perhaps a better translation of the title than “non-violence”.
“Stemming from my wish for a tranquil day amidst turbulent health issues, my focus then was on confronting my own ephemerality as inspiration toward greater compassion for those around me,” he continues.
“But in the years since its original release, I think the song has taken on a meaning closer to the immediacy of the chorus of “no violence”, and become a kind of hymn in opposition to the rampant turmoil and seemingly inescapable vitriol of the moment.
““Ahimsa” is an attempt to create a peaceful space within a violent world. The scope is wider now, though the message remains the same: mortality is one of the few qualities we all share in common, and through recognizing this we may discover compassion for one another.”
This new version was recorded shortly before The Antlers’ departed for their US tour this past spring, and fittingly, it features the same players from those shows. Silberman and bandmate and drummer Michael Lerner are joined by Paul Collins on a laidback bassline and Jared Van Fleet on an elegant piano, while Mike ‘Slo Mo’ Brenner provides the heavenly pedal steel.
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