The tag "indie rock" gets thrown on to so many seemingly unrelated bands that at times you begin to wonder if it means anything at all. And I suppose it doesn't really, but for my money, if it did, it would probably describe The Antlers quite well. That's because this is the kind of album whose sonic touchstones, ambitions, and manner of connecting to both its listeners and its singer's emotions are best traced back to some of the greatest independently released albums of the past fifteen years. A hazy, gauzy, delicate example of the heart-on-sleeve, arms-to-sky emoting of Arcade Fire and Neutral Milk Hotel that's both obscured and cushioned by the haunted ambience of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the originally self-released Hospice is beautifully realized and honestly rendered. It's one of those weird sorts of albums that bridges opposites with casual ease—soothing as it invigorates, conveying potent sadness as it searches for, and finds, great hope. And maybe most importantly, it's a very healthy reminder that the world of indie rock is about more than some pack of trendy, self-satisfied dogs obsessed with chasing their own hip tails: it has a canon of great works whose templates and ideas can be all you need to create humble, lasting music.