We're All Indie-Rock Parents Together
At its best, the Walkmen’s music captured the thrills and angst of being young. But never did it address the joys and confusions of being very young—say, a toddler. Amply filling that absence—with help from a cast of guests that includes Matt Berninger (The National), Karen O (The Yeah Yeah Yeahs), and several of his former bandmates—is We’re All Young Together, the preciously sweet and sweetly precious solo debut from ex-Walkmen bassist/organist Walter Martin.
Martin’s album is the first of several Walkmen solo efforts, and the most unexpected. The cover art, adorned with marching, watercolored animals and balloons, gives no misconception: this is child-friendly folk- and country-pop, with songs about animals, zoos, vacation getaways, and, er, the Beatles. (The chorus celebrates not drug trips or creative squabbling, but Ringo’s mop.) But Martin’s half-hungover vocal tone resembles a more casual and less ambitious Hamilton Leithauser, and he has a knack for the sort of sunny, winking indie-pop the Walkmen mostly steered clear of. The charm is substantial: on “Hey Sister”, his (real-life) sister joins him for a stirringly fun duet on family resemblances; on “We Like the Zoo (‘Cause We’re Animals Too)” he gets Berninger, of all people, to chime in about octopuses and platypuses. It’s a wryly colorful moment straddling the histories of the Walkmen and the National, two of New York’s most unabashedly grown-up-y bands. Sure, We’re All Young Together’s coy naïveté is a put-on, but it’s not too cloying a put-on for this 36-minute, 10-track set.
// Sound Affects
"The man whose songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, David Allan Coe, The Highwaymen, and countless others succumbs to time’s cruel cue that the only token of permanence we have to offer are the effects of shared moments and memories.READ the article