The Walkmen Lisbon

The Walkmen Lisbon
The Walkmen are becoming a well-travelled bunch. On 2008's You & Me, the NYC quintet traded in their ragged, city slicking panache for what sounded a bit like a refreshing detour through Canadian forests. What made it so enjoyable was the band's success in fusing the sound of the urban and rural so subtly that You & Me sounded oddly organic. On the new disc, the Walkmen have found inspiration in yet another rich destination. Lisbon finds the band channelling all the laidback breeziness of the titular city, their musical sophistication and delicate arrangements wonderfully intact. While lead single "Angela Surf City" is now uncharacteristically urgent, the rest of Lisbon is all swaying rhythms and Iberian sanguinity: the slow, horn-aided waltz of standout track "Stranded"; the to-and-fro plucking of "All My Great Designs"; the sun-dappled cymbal splashes of "Woe Is Me." The result is yet another satisfying chapter in the Walkmen catalogue, which, for all the right reasons, is looking increasingly like a passport. (Fat Possum)