The Walkmen have recorded the song you should play first in 2009

Music News, The Greatest Song In The World This Week

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The Walkmen have been around a while now, and received a fair amount of wider recognition as a result of appearing on The O.C, alongside their indie-rock masterpiece “The Rat” from 2004′s Bows + Arrows album. I’m sure I read somewhere once that George W. Bush listens to “The Rat” when he goes jogging… If anyone can verify that I’d appreciate it?!
The band have a rep as one of those Christmassy bands – their dense sound seems to lend itself to chilly nights, and they’ve recorded a few seasonal numbers in their time.
Their 2008 album You & Me has been lauded in some quarters as the best of the year. I wouldn’t go that far, but it does have a song called “In The New Year” which follows in the band’s snowy tradition while showcasing them at their best.

It’s a true winter warmer, so it is, combining the group’s best elements – heavily reverbing guitar, an organ that builds momentum, and lead singer Hamilton Leithauser’s exultation expressed as a vocal chord-shredding howl.
If you’ve seen The Walkmen live you’ll know Leithhauser’s style is to clench his whole body and virtually pop his neck veins as he performs – it’s almost as if the music’s kicking his arse. I shall be keeping an eye out for a decent live recording of him doing “In The New Year” for that reason (see a not-so-great live recording here).
With lyrics like “we won by a landslide, our troubles are over” it’s tempting to apply the song to Big Life Things that are happening right now, but really the enduring appeal of this song will lie in its delightful evocation of end-of-year reflection and optimism for the future.
Listen to “In The New Year” at The Hype Machine or Deezer.
You can buy the album here.

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