CD: The Walkmen: You & Me

(Fierce Panda)

Bile-soaked single The Rat gave the Walkmen their biggest hit, but this doubt-ravaged fourth album is their most cohesive success. Its atmospheric, indie-infused Americana is a late-night treat, Hamilton Leithauser's raw vocals - he sounds like a broken, drunken Bob Dylan - setting the contemplative tone. Seven Years of Holidays (For Stretch) juggles past rootlessness with a desire for security. Red Moon is about missing home and making promises; the shaky optimism of In the New Year is built upon chiming, steely guitars. The sparse songs bloom into audacious, shambling melodies, Matt Barrick's clickety-clack percussion adding a quirky charm to the melancholy, funeral brass and subtle strings which flutter throughout. Intimate, intense and beautiful, You & Me demands repeat plays and the Walkmen deserve a new respect.

Contributor

Betty Clarke

The GuardianTramp

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