The Needle Drop

the walkmen

The Walkmen- "We Can't Beat"

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In describing his band's forthcoming album Heaven, Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser has promised a record documenting the band's maturation and a "bigger, more generous statement." With "We Can't Be Beat" the band seems to be delivering just that. The song begins with a mesmerizing and soothing fingerpicked guitar coupled with Leithauser's equally languid vocals. Fabulous vocal harmonies join in soon after giving the track another fantastic layer of detail, growing more powerful around the midpoint of the song. It is at this point where the song masterfully changes form into something a bit punchier but equally pleasant.

You can pick up The Walkmen's sixth studio LP entitled Heaven in stores on May 29 from Fat Possum Records.

The Walkmen- "Heaven"

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Swave indie rockers the Walkmen are gearing up to release a new album on June 5th via Fat Possum. The title: Heaven. The title track is streaming above.

This will be the band's 7th full-length album, and the Walkmen's discography, for me, has been a journey of highs and lows. While it's not easy to stay excited when the band drops an album I'm not in love with, I'm always ready to hear them come back with something better.

The track above has more guts than most of 2010's Lisbon, so I've got not reason not to be excited at this point.

Balkans- "Troubled and Done"

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Back before this blog was lookin' like a vanilla ice cream cone with a cherry on top, we blogged the track "Edita V" from this up-and-coming Atlanta outfit, Balkans. Their debut LP is coming out in May, and "Troubled and Done" is another tease toward it.

I can't get over how much this band sounds like a solid combination of the Walkmen and the Strokes. Not only do I catch it in the dry guitars and overstated vocals, but they've got the buff and catchy songwriting to match.

Grab the track "Edita V" below, and make sure to hit up Balkans' website for show dates and info.

"Edita V" MP3


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1. Screaming Females- I Don't Mind It Jersey's "Scremales," whether you like 'em or not, have hammered out a distinct niche in the world of rock. Strong female vocals, wailing guitars, and post-punk sensibilities make their songs rough and immediate. This track is from their forthcoming album Castle Talk, which is slated for release on Sept. 14th via Don Giovanni Recs.

2. The Walkmen- Lisbon The Walkmen have been on a serious roll. Moving from A Hundred Miles Off to You & Me was impressive, and the Brooklyn bunch will surely shoot to awe this time around, too. The bright horns and passionate vocals make "Lisbon" an exciting taste of the forthcoming Stranded.

3. The Sword- Tres Brujas This August, the Sword will be entering third album territory with Warp Riders. The band sounds a little less heavy than they were on Gods of the Earth. The thick guitars are still present, but there's not much doom to this band's sound here. Instead, the Sword have swapped that direction out for something much more ready to rock. If it weren't for the new studio sound, this thing could have had me guessing it was from decades ago.

4. Fishing- OOOO Playful beats from Australia on this one. It's what might happen if you forced J Dilla and Madlib to collab on a soundtrack for the board game Candy Land. Look for releases from this project later this year via Double Denim.

5. Lost Boy- Fast Burn If I had my old blog up, I'd link to an old post I wrote about this guy back when he messaged my YouTube account months ago. My first impressions were, well, the only way anyone could react to fuzzed out punk tunes with falsetto vocals. The production and performances are tight, though. Here's to Lost Boy: May you never be found! Figuratively, of course.

7. School of Seven Bells- Windstorm This trio's 2008 release Alpinisms didn't wow me like I wanted it to, but this track from their latest LP has certainly caught my ear. A lot clearer and straightforward than the shoegazed sounds I recall from their earlier efforts. School's latest album is Disconnect from Desire, and it's out now via Ghostly International.

8. Sharon Van Etten- Love More Here's another act I hit up on the old blog. She's a singer-songwriter an upcoming album titled Epic. That should earn it some expectations. Considering "Love More" is on it, I think the album is off to a good start. Sharon's voice is her strongest attribute. It's hard not to hang on every gentle move it makes across the mix. The slow build this song embarks on makes it a real tear-jerker, too. TND TIP: SLEEP SOUNDLY.