Nov 18 2008

The Walkmen – In The New Year

Published by at 12:30 pm under Alternative,MP3's

I know this album came out a little while ago, but I just heard it for the first time and “In The New Year” might be the quintessential Walkmen song. It takes everything great about their albums – the triumphant hooks, the jangly guitars, the Saturday night swagger – and mashes them all together in one enormous shout from the rooftops moment.

It starts off unassuming, the guitars drowned in reverb and sounding like a soft fall through a layer of buoyant cloud. Singer Hamilton Leithauser floats over the melody seconds into the song, crooning like Dylan but strutting like Sinatra. And the chorus hits: the lilting keyboards are confirmation and celebration of the lyrics – “I’m just like you, I never hear the bad news,” followed by the broken waltz of a sparkling crescendo. It’s a confession, it’s rejoicing.

This album sometimes sounds like observing gangsters disposing of a body on a foggy night, other times like falling in love across a crowded room. It takes several listens for the Walkmen’s progressions to make sense, but on that one listen when the planets align and the chords fit, it’s a revelation.

And from Bows + Arrows: I used to listen to “The Rat” at maximum volume before going out every weekend. Ideal preparation music for a massive night.

From You & Me:

The Walkmen – In the New Year

From Bows + Arrows:

The Walkmen – The Rat

And the video for their song “Little House of Horrors,” also from Bows + Arrows:


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