I'm a little disappointed that I didn't see Antlers last night at the Fool's Foundation. I'd considered going, but a little kid had bit me in the arm at work earlier in the day, so I decided I just wanted to watch a movie with my wife and go to bed early. (Parenthetically, the five hours I waited in the Kaiser emergency room to get my arm treated was several degrees more painful than the bite itself).
I've seen Antlers before, at the Delta of Venus. I can't quite hear their music in my head at the moment, but I do remember thinking that they were very creative at building tension. Like melody, tension (and its counterpart, release) is an art unto itself. If you create it using rote methods, its effect quickly goes stale.
If memory serves, Antlers creates tension by balancing their songs atop a taut, if not angular, bass line, so that every shift in the harmony makes one feel like the whole structure is going to shiver apart. Added to this is the music's dreamy overtones and drawn-out resolution. Therefore, the music simultaneously keeps you on the edge of your seat while inviting you to ease back and take another toke.
It is quite an enjoyable contradiction.