The Walkmen have long straddled the line between crafting sweeping, arena-ready songs and keeping things low-down and dirty, but with the new single “Heaven,” the title track from the band’s seventh album, the band finally goes full-on epic rock like they’re a Joshua Tree-era U2.
Lead singer Hamilton Leithauser said the emphasis on going big was a deliberate choice Heaven, which features production from Phil Ek and a guest vocal spot from the Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold. “It’s a more lush-sounding album, to me,” he told Pitchfork today. “It’s big and optimistic and fun and grand.”
It’s definitely those things, but Leithauser’s scream is gone here, even though it sounds like he’s singing about a divorce. And if rock music has taught us anything, lost love is scream-worthy. Is this a new, mature Walkmen we’re hearing? One that emotes without damaging vocal cords? Will they wear funny looking, wrap-around pink shades? We’ll have to wait and see. Until then, bum yourself out with this uptempo, new direction.
Heaven is out June 5 on Fat Possum. Stream “Heaven” below: