Peter Silberman: Impermanence review – intimate and intense


The arrangements of the songs on Impermanence, Brooklyn singer Peter Silberman’s first solo album, are so minimal and sparse that they make his exquisite recordings with his group the Antlers seem positively rococo. On intimate tracks such as Maya and Karuna, Silberman’s croon is accompanied by nothing more than the occasional strum of a guitar.

His multi-octave voice is as intense as Jeff Buckley’s or Anohni’s, but it’s vulnerable without being precious or cloying. The dusty ambience is that of 1930s folk and blues recordings – an effect created by Silberman, collaborator Nicholas Principe and engineer Andrew Dunn repeatedly redubbing their tracks on to old tapes.

The quiet of Impermanence can be attributed to a hearing impairment that afflicted Silberman after the last Antlers tour. It left him struggling to cope with everyday noise – even the sound of his own voice. In New York, he describes being “assailed” by the sounds of urban life: “I had to back away / as the whole town barked.”


Jon Dennis

The GuardianTramp

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