Monday, May 30, 2011

"i want! i want!" by Walk The Moon

i want! i want!, self-released November 26th, 2010
In the early days of summer, it is always encouraging to stumble across new music that will shape the tone of the remaining warm months. That’s why finding Walk the Moon has been an absolute delight. This album is, for all intents and purposes, one of the best summer records in recent memory. The lead track and first single, Anna Sun, actually made it to the top of Esquire Magazine’s summer songs list. Evoking the early-2000’s indie-pop breakthrough acts (Killers, Thrills, et. al.), Walk the Moon manages to one-up their influences with deftly written synth lines and polyrhythmic beats reminiscent of Vampire Weekend’s world-music bend.

This album grabs you from the beginning with an unassuming intro and then erupts into layers of pulsing bass lines, adroit synth work and the crisp, explosive crunch of guitars. While Anna Sun sets the bar high, this is the sort of album that consistently exceeds expectations.
In listening to only Anna Sun, one could potentially dismiss the band as another indie-synth-pop band. Then, the third track, Quesadilla, rolls around and introduces one of the album’s unexpected and delightful highlights: world-beat polyrhythms. This, to me, separates Walk the Moon from their contemporaries. It’d be easy to work their synth-heavy indie pop angle and easy to walk the indie-world music trail set by Vampire Weekend, but the successful marriage of the two results in what will most certainly be in your cd player much longer than you expect it to. Even the “down” track on the album, Iscariot, is a wonderful study in harmony, sonic landscaping and expert lyricism.

Lyricism, of course, is the other highlight of this album. Every song somehow manages to capture, in equal measure, emotional impact with a hooky chorus that you can definitely imagine shouting back to them from the crowd. While the lyrics can sometimes drift towards the silly (“I can lift a car, I can lift a car all by myself”), if a few silly lyrics are the only problem with an album, it is a phenomenal album. Truthfully, you need no other word to describe i want! i want!, phenomenal covers it. From the onset, this album sets high goals and consistently manages to achieve them.

You can imagine, then, my excitement that these fine gents will be at Bonnaroo, Friday the 10th at both the Sonic Stage and CafĂ© Where. Thankfully, I just so happen to be the correspondent for our myxaroo coverage and you can bet I will be looking these guys up. You can check, of course, their Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter accounts for band updates and live information. The album i want! i want! is available for $9 on the group’s Bandcamp and I can honestly not think of a better way to spend $9.

Rating: 9.5/10
Standout Tracks: "The Liftaway", "Iscariot", "Anna Sun"

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