Monday, December 5, 2011

The Walkmen Celebrate 10 Years

The Walkmen are celebrating 10 years since the release of their first album with a limited edition vinyl pressing of the band's debut album, 'Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone'.

Originating from Washington D.C., but eventually relocating to Harlem, the band released "Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone" in 2002. Having a unique sound and being compared to other contemporary New York City bands, the album was well received by critics. Notable tracks include: The Blizzard of 96, That's the Punchline, and We've Been Had (A personal favorite).

The band released "Bows + Arrows" on the Record Collection label in 2004, also listed by some critics as one of the years best albums. Bows + Arrows is known to have a more immediate and focused sound with hits such as: "The Rat" and "Little House of Savages."

In 2006 the band released their third album, "A Hundred Miles Off," which had focused more towards a folk sound. The first single "Louisiana", more upbeat with horns, is one of my favorite tracks along with "Another One Goes By." In the same year the band released a covers album titled, "Pussy Cats" Starring the Walkmen. The album is a song for song cover of the 1974 Harry Nilsson album "Pussy Cats" that was produced by John Lennon. The album started off as a "joke" evolving into a full length album and also served as a last project for the band's studio, Marcata Recording.

The next two albums that followed, are probably two of my favorite albums of all time. One thing I love about the Walkmen is the ability to change their sound, while sort of keeping the same sound. I also truly enjoy every track on every album from front to back. "You & Me" was released in 2008. Up to that point the album may have been the best thing they had ever done and the best thing I had ever heard. Quoted by the Guardian, "The album is intimate, intense, and beautiful...You & Me demands repeat plays and The Walkmen deserve a new respect." This is one of those albums that you need to listen to from start to finish, but if I had to choose favorites...they are: Dónde está la playa, On the Water, and Canadian Girl.

Following in 2010, "Lisbon" was released. I read somewhere the band recorded around 28 songs, only including 11 of them on the album, although a bonus disc included four additional tracks. In my opinion it was arguably the best album of the year and also one of the best live shows I had seen that year. Pitchfork ranking it 21 in their top 50 albums for 2010. This is another album you just need to listen to front to back, but notable tracks for me are: Juveniles, Blue as Your Blood, All My Great Designs, While I Shovel the Snow, and Lisbon.

So 10 years later, I say thank you to the Walkmen for years of nothing but the best. I look forward to whatever the future holds.

I included a few tracks from each album below.
You can purchase the limited edition vinyl here:

We've Been Had (Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone)

The Rat Live (Bows + Arrows)

Louisana Live (A Hundred Miles Off)

Loop De Loop (Pussy Cats)

Canadian Girl (You & Me) *Personal Favorite

On the Water (You & Me)

Juveniles (Lisbon)

While I Shovel the Snow (Lisbon)

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