Walkmen – Heaven

April 17, 2012

In 2010 I was lucky enough to attend Pavement’s ATP Festival at Minehead. The atmosphere of the weekend was spectacular; chalet parties, boxes of red wine, Butlins culture (without the redcoats), art house cinema, and most spectacularly – substantial music. Now, ‘substantial music’ is a strange figure of speech, and I apologise for that, but what I mean by it is this: whether it was Atlas Sound, The Fall, The Drones or Pavement themselves – everything was meant to be there (which I find is unusual for anything in life, especially a festival). So what does this have to do with the Walkmen’s forthcoming album? Well, that weekend was the first time I ever saw The Walkmen and it was the last time they released a record, so here at SupaJam we‘ve been crossing off the days until June 6th, the release date of their latest effort Heaven. 

“The detachment you can feel throughout our younger records is gone. We felt like it was time to make a bigger, more generous statement.” Frontman Hamilton Leithauser says in the press release.
Whilst there’s a degree of simplicity to the lyrical content, the sentiment and direction is a strong one – which is what you’d expect from a leading single. A chilling attack comes in the opening verse: ‘Our children will always hear, or meant to tell the distant years’ – ‘Our guilty ages, they come and go, Our crooked dreams, they always flow.’ 
The chorus presents itself as a further strength – hypnotic layered guitars, a powerful vocal, and melodic interaction that feels like an angst-fuelled stanza.
Indie producer Phil Ek (The Shins, Fleet Foxes, Band Of Horses) has collaborated on this piece, and, one thing that instantaneously grasps you about his input is the loose sound: the guitars are taken into a smaller space, the drums louder yet less defined, and the vocals are boorishly inside the mix. 
In terms of what’s been released thus far, it does work on the vein present on their last record Lisbon, but that’s just fine – they’re on release number seven now, and they have a trend of finding a niche for every record. So, once we hear the rest of the album, we’ll be able to rest a little better, but there are elements we can hear in this single that spell something very eloquent will travel from our Amazon Wishlist into our postbox on the 6th of June.
Oobah Butler

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