September 3, 2010

I'M TURNING PORTUGESE:

First Listen: The Walkmen, 'Lisbon' (Bob Boilen, 9/03/10, NPR)

As I spent more time with Lisbon, The Walkmen's sixth studio album, I discovered that the strength of this record lies in its sparseness, and that the horns in "Stranded" made it the odd song out on this record. The strength in Lisbon is restraint — the high-on-the-neck lilting guitar and the interplay between that guitar and the way the words are delivered.

When we introduced the song on the All Songs Considered blog back in July, singer Hamilton Leithauser told us about the band's trips to Portugal.

"We took two trips to Lisbon over the course of writing this record," Leithauser said. "None of us had ever been there, and we were really blown away by the place. The topography and architecture are stunningly handsome. Even when we were there for the rainy season — it literally never stopped raining — it was a trip that outshone a lot of others. We've never had much luck at all in Europe, and the Portuguese were surprisingly accommodating. I think those two trips really helped keep us motivated while making this record. We named the record Lisbon as sort of a 'thank you' and a small tribute."

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Posted by Orrin Judd at September 3, 2010 2:58 PM
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