The Walkmen have completed their follow-up to 2010’s Lisbon, organist Peter Bauer confirmed today with Paste. The album—the band’s seventh, which hasn’t been titled—is expected to be 13 tracks long. It was produced by Phil Ek—the producer behind Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues and The Shins’ Wincing the Night Away—who whipped the band into shape for their forthcoming release.
“He wouldn’t let us get away with our usual garbage we normally do in terms of playing off beat and half-assing it,” Bauer told Paste. “He was making us do things again and again until they were right, which I thought was really annoying at first. But it was really great at the end. You do hear the difference. Most of the recording we had never done, but everyone was playing live and what you get is what you get, and this was much more.”
The band is markedly pleased with the album, which Bauer attributes to all of the members adopting a more consistent working schedule. The band wrote over 30 songs for the album, and ended up tracking and mixing 15 of those cuts. Bauer said the group has been tracking and mixing the album since the beginning of December.
“We changed the way we wrote songs and changed our lifestyles and stuff,” Bauer said. “You put on your pants and your shoes in the morning and go to work as opposed to just doing this whenever you felt like it, or doing it at midnight or whatever. Pretty much everybody in the band is trying to work on music at 9 a.m.”
The result of this change is a ‘50s-inspired, guitar-oriented rock album, which features songs that Bauer said are “not as sparse as the ones on Lisbon.”.
“It’s very rock and roll in a lot of ways,” Bauer said. “They have drum beats, which is nice return for us to use full drum beats again. There’s something triumphant and romantic about them, that just hits the right tone that we’ve been looking for. They’re not nearly as sparse as the ones on Lisbon.”
One of the album’s standouts is a track called “We Can’t Be Beat,” a track that was penned mostly by frontman Hamilton Leithauser.
“It’s acoustic guitars and a lot of backing vocals,” Bauer said. “It’s got a big ending, it’s a real knockout. “
Although the album doesn’t have a release date, it’s expected to be out sometime this year. Keep checking back for more details on the upcoming album.