A decade ago, Hamilton Leithauser opened the Walkmen’s debut album with a tense, atmosphere-heavy number called “They’re Winning”, in which he shrugged at impending defeat. “Now it’s not fair, but what is?” he said, projecting more disconnect and resignation than dejection.
Whereas once the Walkmen represented a drunken, downtrodden elegance, the NYC-based band has morphed in recent years into the picture of triumphant sophistication in the face of life’s defeats. In this vein, “We Can’t Be Beat”, the lead track on their upcoming seventh full-length album, Heaven, builds from modest origins into a song that feels at turns majestic and uplifting.
Heaven drops May 29 on Fat Possum Records. Hearing “We Can’t Beat” and the title track has pushed my expectations into the stratosphere. It’s not hard to envision this album being one of my favorites this year, based on those two songs and the Walkmen’s track record alone.