The Walkmen es una banda que para muchos, quizá para la mayoría, se mantendrá en esa zona underground de su biblioteca musical particular. Si bien es cierto que muchos aman "The Rat" como sencillo (por alguna extraña razón el destino hizo que su canción más famosa fuera la que menos suena a su estilo) el resto de su discografía se mantiene ahí, atrás de los favoritos de muchos. A mí los Neoyorquinos me han conquistado, al punto de ser uno de los grupos ideales para esos momentos de mayor concentración, en donde lo único que hago es escuchar.
The Walkmen lanza el próximo 29 de mayo "Heaven", su sexto álbum de estudio. 13 tracks que definen un disco serio, que desde las primeras notas de -We Can't Be Beat- suena a esa melancolía que los define, y que crece con cada escucha. Editado por Fat Possum (disquera de otras bandas destacadas como Yuck, Youth Lagoon, Spiritualized, etc) estamos seguros que se colocará entre los discos destacados del 2012.
Les dejo el link al stream full del álbum vía NPR, su primer track, el trailer del disco y un vid del sencillo vía Pitchfork +1 que incluye una entrevista con Hamilton Leithauser... enjoy.
"Heaven" vía NPR
Time has certainly passed since 2009. That year, my choice for top album of the year went surprisingly to “Up from below”, the first release of an almost unknown band from Los Angeles, California, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. Although this meant putting this album above some of my all time favorites (Fanfarlo’s “Reservoir”, The Antlers “Hospice”) it somehow made sense at that time. After I saw them live at the Unitarian Church, I knew it just had to be that way. The energy I saw on stage that night was enough to make up my mind. Some might think I was wrong, I for one still don’t know.
Three years have passed and the LA band is about to release their second album at the end of the month. The album entitled “Here” can be listened for free at NPR Music and trust me, I have listened to it roughly ten times so far…I guess looking for that click I found 3 years ago.
The band undoubtedly remains fun, their music is distilled into pure joy that most likely will infect you from the get go, especially if you are discovering them for the first time.
“Here”, however, appears not to be “Up from Below” and though their music remains fresh, joyful and young, it seems as if this eclectic band has evolved little since our first encounter. “Here” is a strong album, don’t get me wrong and most likely will make my list for the year. Songs like the opening track “Man on Fire”, “Mayla”, “Dear Believer” and “Child” are simply too good to be ignored. The album talks about friendship, love, brotherhood, deception, and the energy put on stage by the 11-member band led by Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos remains unchanged and worth noting.
I leave you with two links, the first to their recent concert at the World Café Live, plus the link to NPR Music where you can listen to “Here” in its entirety. Also, a clip from their recent performance in Boston playing “Dear Believer” my favorite song of this album and another from their performance with David Letterman playing “Man of Fire”.
“Dear Believer” - Boston
“Man of Fire” David Letterman’s appearance
Last week, the beautiful Union Transfer in Philadelphia received M. Ward on a warm Saturday night (May 12, 2012). The concert confirmed me what I recently discovered… Ignoring M. Ward’s music for a while has been a big mistake.
His approach to music is simple, direct and based only on traditional ways, without the need of complex digital arrangements. His over emphasized analog sound appears pure, original and surprisingly fresh. His music, although based on classical rock, it expands to many genres, growing in all cases in a very organic way from his flawless guitar playing, superior to most artists these days.
The setlist included many songs from “A Wasteland Companion”, his recent and almost instructional release, but it was also decorated with music from previous records and fully embellished with covers from classical artists, including Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly.
“A Wasteland Companion” is currently being streamed at his website that can be accessed following this link.
I leave you with the setlist of that night in Philly, plus a video from his recent appearance on Letterman.
M.Ward – May 12, 2012- Union Transfer, Philadelphia
- For Beginners
- Poison Cup
- Chinese Translation
- Watch the Show
- Fuel for Fire
- 100 Million Years/Duet for Guitars
- Clean Slate
- Magic Trick
- Me and My Shadow
- Fisher of Men
- Rave on (Buddy Holly Cover)
- I Get Ideas
- Never Has Nobody Like You
- To Go Home (Daniel Johnston Cover)
- Such a Night (Elvis Presley Cover)
- Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry Cover)
- Primitive Girl
M. Ward on Letterman
I have a deep attraction to Beach House’s music… I should say that from the beginning. A disclaimer I am actually proud of…
It is as if their songs diffuse easily into my ears, into my head. They sound familiar, almost as if they have always been there. Every chord follows another just in the right way all embellished delightfully with Victoria Legrand’s voice.
As opposed to many, I love their albums from the first pass. ”Bloom”, the band’s new album, is certainly not an exception. Here, the Baltimore duo offers a consistent sound that follows very well their beautiful 2010 album “Teen Dream”. Powerful lyrics, a delightful voice, analog keyboard arrangements and amazing guitars from Alex Scally, make this one of the greatest albums so far in 2012.
Beach House lyrics talk about romantic disappointment, innocence, heartbreak and offer a dark coming of age perspective. Legrand’s voice captivates you from the start and drives you exactly to those moments. In “Bloom” however, moments of joy are scattered, which in a way suggest the maturity achieved by the band since their 2006 debut. Compared to previous albums, “Bloom” offers a much cleaner sound without compromising the beauty and epic approach that characterizes the band. The album appears to be perfectly crafted and meant to be listened to from start to finish.
“Bloom” will be released on May 15, right on time for the half-year list of best albums. I believe this one goes to the top part of mine.
I leave you with two vids: “Other People” and “Wild” plus a link to NPR Music where you can listen to the album in its entirety.