The Walkmen 9 songs into new album


DETROIT -- If all goes as planned, the Walkmen will wrap up the recording of their fifth album this month, in time for a spring release.

"We're all really pumped about it," singer/guitarist Hamilton Leithauser tells "We've written a lot of songs in the past year and really done some editing, which I think is a new move towards maturity for us. If there was stuff we didn't love, we'd just cut it all (out), so I think that's a step in the right direction."

Leithauser says the group has nine songs done and six more to finish for the as-yet-untitled set, for which the band is in the midst of negotiating a new label deal. The album features "a lot more instrumentation" than its predecessors, including trumpet and viola played by the band's Paul Maroon. "It's sort of our sound again," Leithauser explains, "but when you have it with a new instrument you can modify it the slightest bit, which to us sounds completely new."

The Walkmen recorded tracks in New Jersey and Mississippi but have been working primarily in New York. They'll be road-testing some of the new songs on a short run of shows this month, including "Around and Around," "Blue Route" and "I Lost You," the latter of which Leithauser calls the new project's "breakthrough song."

"We wanted to do, like, a big Roy Orbison song that ends with a big (crescendo)," he explains. "We tried a lot of different strings and horn parts and finally found a few that go together. We think it's fantastic. It's, like, power rock."

The album will be the Walkmen's first set of originals since 2006's "A Hundred Miles Off," which was followed later that year by the group's remake of Harry Nilsson's 1974 classic "Pussycats."