When we visited The Walkmen to record their One Track Mind episode (You watched that, right?), we interrupted them while they were deep inside the Pacific Northwest woods, supposedly recording a new album with veteran producer Phil Ek (Modest Mouse, Fleet Foxes). As it turns out, that whole “we’re recording a new album” thing wasn’t just a ruse to get us to leave: After previewing it with a horrible U2 medley, the band has confirmed that the resulting record, Heaven, is due out June 5 on Fat Possum/Bella Union. Singer Hamilton Leithauser told us at the time that the band was currently winnowing down the album from around 26 new tracks—resisting our entreaty to adhere to The Foghat Principle—and it seems they finally got there, because we don’t see the words “double live” anywhere on the press release.
We do see that Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold was brought in to lend harmonies to two songs on the record—a guest role that probably speaks to the band’s increasingly refined and stately sound, and may have something to do with Leithauser’s avowal that “the detachment you can feel throughout our younger records is gone. We felt like it was time to make a bigger, more generous statement.” You can get a small taste of that bigger, more generous sound in the teaser below and then pre-order Heaven here.