It’s the tenth anniversary of The Walkmen’s debut album Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than the release of a brand new album. On May 29th, the band is set to release their 7th studio LP, Heaven, which has already caught the attention of critics and fans with the feel-good title track “Heaven.”
The DC natives have been playing together in bands since fifth grade and have credited much of their success to their kinship and their mutual dedication to their music. The Walkmen’s maturation has been a slow and steady climb, from their earlier garage-esque days with songs like “Wake Up” off their debut to warmer and more powerful tracks like “In the New Year” off of You & Me. Just over a year ago, the band was approached by Fleet Foxes producer Phil Ek to make a record together. Without hesitation, the group traveled all the way to Ek’s recording studio in Seattle, recording the majority of Heaven in a small cabin. The band said it was the hardest they ever worked on an album and hope that the results are evident. So far, so good.
A few things I’ve noticed from the few songs I’ve heard from the new record thus far is that the song structure has shifted to more of a traditional format with an intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, etc. Traditionally, most of The Walkmen’s vocals, led by Hamilton Leithauser, are in more of a prose format with less of an emphasis on formula. I don’t think this is a negative aspect in any way, just an obvious modest tweak that may allow for more mainstream exposure. It doesn’t look like the band will be making it back home this summer, but be sure to keep up with them on their official website, Facebook, and on Twitter for any updates.