Megan's Top 18 of 2008 - #16 - The Walkmen

It seems so long ago that the DC-bred, NYC-transplant Walkmen first entered my musical frame of knowledge. I always tell this story, but dammit here it comes again. From the first second I heard Hamilton Leithauser's trademark wail in that Saturn commercial, I've been a Walkmen convert, and with the release of their latest album, You & Me, the band has sunken their collective hooks just that much deeper into my affections.

While Leithauser's vocals are definitely the easiest recognizable feature of the Walkmen's sound, You & Me also cashes in on several of the others. Sharp, jangly guitars have been a big part of my love affair with the Walkmen, and the new album has the sound in spades. The stellar drumming, tight and crisp and fierce, also makes appearance after appearance. And then there's the production, that like the band itself is effortlessly cool, somewhat too loose and yet sounding exactly the way it needs to.

Truth be told, there are two songs on You & Me that I listen to rather incessantly, and would cause me to put this album on my list regardless of how good (or bad) the remainder of the songs were. Happily, they're also fabulous, but I'd give serious attention to the albums first single, "In the New Year", and my absolute favorite, the bouncy "Canadian Girl." I promise, you won't be sorry. Check out the live version below (as performed in Canada, of course).


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