belated Tunes: The Antlers, “Putting the Dog to Sleep”

The most successful bands have long known to wait until the album-closing track to throw the biggest emotional hit. The Antlers–a solo-act-turned-trio from Brooklyn–is no exception, and “Putting the Dog to Sleep” is the most heartstring-wrenching song on one of the best albums of the year, Burst Apart.

With the same deathbed forwardness that marked the critically acclaimed Hospice, Peter Silberman vocalizes with a desperation as pleading as it is particular. This, over a cheap funeral organ that clears the way for powerful, sparse instrumental that slowly gains layers. And the effect is stunning, direct–the sound fills as the speaker finds comfort, however superficial it may be. Lyrics after the jump.

Prove to me I’m not gonna die alone
Put your arm ’round my collarbone
And open the door

Don’t lie to me
If you’re putting the dog to sleep
That pet you just couldn’t keep, and couldn’t afford
Well prove to me I’m not gonna die alone
Unstitch that shit I’ve sewn to close up the hole that tore through my skin
Well my trust in you is a dog with a broken leg
Tendons too torn to beg for you to let me back in

You said, I can’t prove to you you’re not gonna die alone
But trust me to take you home to clean up that blood all over your palms
You can’t keep running out kicking yourself off the bed
Kicking yourself in the head, Because you’re kicking me too

Put your trust in me, I’m not gonna die alone(2x)
I don’t think so

Put your trust in me, I’m not gonna die alone(2x)
I don’t think so

If you haven’t gotten around to it, Burst Apart is well worth your listening time, from the Radiohead-esque “Parentheses” to the rocker “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out” to the impossible-falsetto-boasting beaut “I Don’t Want Love.”