The Walkmen // Heaven
The Walkmen have channeled their ten year experience into their best LP to date, writes Rory Carroll
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Hamilton Leithauser, lead singer of The Walkmen, maintains that “[their] biggest accomplishment is just being here”. This assertion surely stems from humble origins, but we’d contest that it’s no accident the band is still going strong after ten years and four albums. They’ve outlasted their contemporaries from the New York scene they never wanted to be part and, in doing so, have delivered a fairly comprehensive ‘up yours’ to the critics.
‘Heaven’ is very much the product of The Walkmen’s collective experience, drawing on the highs and lows of the past ten years to construct an LP that oozes maturity. The unmistakable rattle of Paul Maroon’s Rickenbacker is as prominent as ever and, when paired with Phil Ek’s (Fleet Foxes) production, has helped the band realise their ambition to pen a suite of classic American rock songs.
The superbly arranged ‘Nightingales’ and ‘The Witch’ are both prime examples of this newfound maturity, whilst the delicate beauty exhibited on the sparse ‘Southern Heart’ and ‘Line By Line’ add lighter shades and a sense of balance to this truly exceptional album.
Few bands can maintain the consistently high level of output that The Walkmen have, so when we tell you that ‘Heaven’ may well be their best LP to date, that should tell you all you need to know.