Brooklyn-based Antlers' Hospice is the most haunting and at the same time the most beautiful album I've heard in quite awhile. Frontman Peter Silberman delicately placed each word alongside just the right notes to perfectly convey the emotions that run somberly throughout. Unfortunately, such an incredible album came at a cost: Silberman spent two years in solitude, reflecting through music his relationship with a terminally ill child. His deliberate infusion of personal life and art make Hospice strike fearfully close to the heart, and captivation reaches and tugs gently from each track. A strange feeling, yes, though it somehow comforts, too.
"Kettering" stood out to me immediately and will no doubt fall in my favorites for 2009, along with this album as a whole. "Bear" and "Two" I also like a lot. See video and tracks below.