Heaven

Walkmen

Heaven
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Heaven

Walkmen

“The detachment you can feel throughout our younger records is gone. We felt like it was time to make a bigger, more generous statement.” Hamilton Leithauser states of The Walkmen’s ‘Heaven’, out in Australia on Pod through Inertia. The album portrays a band hitting maturity, comfortable in its mastery, after a decade together. Guitarist Paul Maroon adds, “when you’re starting out, you’re sitting there trying to come up with a big idea, but after a while, you learn about the process of writing. You learn about your friends in the band and how they work best.” The chime of Maroon’s guitar is unmistakable in the cascading arpeggios of ‘Song For Leigh’ or the driving metallic riff of ‘Heartbreaker’, the setting is fuller, the production lush. “There can be something brittle about our sound,” Maroon says. “He made it just a little bit warmer, a little bit stronger. When I play it in my car, it sounds strong, which I love.” On ‘We Can’t Be Beat’, Leithauser is Dion and his bandmates The Belmonts, singing pitch perfect doo-wop. On ‘No One Ever Sleeps’, Fleet Foxes vocalist Robin Pecknold plays Don Everly to Leithauser’s Phil, supplying a low harmony at once classic and contemporary. After 10 years, the Walkmen have everything that a great band needs. Leithauser is a mature singer of phenomenal stamina who can trade ‘The Rat’s’ raw anger for the yearning of ‘Southern Heart’ in a beat. Drummer Matt Barrick can pummel ferociously and drop down to Buddy Holly’s tramcar click. Bauer is a consummate sideman, effortlessly switching from guitar to farfisa to piano as required or trading instruments with bass player Walter Martin, who has also written his most resonant lyrics yet. All five members of the band have kids now and if the impact of parenthood is hard to pin down in a single lyric, there is definitely a new openness and emotional honesty to the songs. Most importantly, the old gang mentality has deepened, becoming something worthwhile and lasting. “I’m very proud of what we’ve done. We’ve stayed friends and those friendships have grown,” says Bauer. “We have survival experience and real love that children generate in your life.” Heaven is a definitive statement of purpose and commitment, from a band at the peak of its powers that is finally winning the recognition it deserves. The Australian version features 2 bonus tracks.

  1. We Can’t Be Beat
  2. Love is Luck
  3. Heartbreaker
  4. The Witch
  5. Southern Heart
  6. Line By Line
  7. Song For Leigh
  8. Nightingales
  9. Jerry Jr.’s Tune
  10. The Love You Love
  11. Heaven
  12. No One Ever Sleeps
  13. Dreamboat
  14. The House You Made - Bonus Track
  15. Pestering Sins - Bonus Track

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