Hospice opens with something like funeral music, thick with grief and coated in angelic sheen. The former one-man project led by Peter Silberman now includes drummer Michael Lerner and multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci. Together they've fused together songs drenched in themes of pain, death and the unknown. I know: bleak. And yet, it's not such a morbid album that you can't appreciate its ruminating, rainy-day feel.
Silberman's falsetto seems as ghostly as if it were wafting from a grave, but the amplified click of his tongue and wispy inhaling give the illusion of intimacy, like he's talking right in your ear.
And it's not all even-keeled gravity. "Atrophy" crescendos, (ironically enough) from a dreading tone to a sense of awakening after a long depression. In "Sylvia," Silberman belts out his lyrics for the whole universe to hear in pained but pretty nakedness. That song includes an ensemble of horns as well, which almost milks the drama a little too much, like binge drinking before the situation has ripened enough to earn it. But mostly, like when Silberman sings, "And all the while I know we're fucked and not getting un-fucked soon," the band stays hinged to the heart of the matter.