The Walkmen's latest album, Lisbon, isn't due out until Sept. 14, but we've got a sneak preview of one of its standout tracks. "Stranded" is an incredibly soulful piece with beautiful horn parts that sound like something pulled from a 1950s Sun session. We first heard the cut when The Walkmen performed it live at our South by Southwest showcase in March.
"Early on, we had a whole batch of songs that were based on this New Orleans-style horn playing that (guitarist) Paul (Maroon) was working on," singer Hamilton Leithauser says. "But 'Stranded' is the only one that actually ended up making the album. I think it was maybe the second song we wrote for Lisbon, so it sort of exemplifies our sound from maybe two years ago. I guess it sounds more like our last record, You & Me, than a lot of the other songs on Lisbon. The horn section included my wife, Anna, our lead trumpeter Paul Brandenberg, and a ratty assortment of the other guys we usually tour with — mostly trumpets and maybe two trombones. We had them all into Gigantic Studios, and I sang the whole thing live right there with them and the band. It's always fun doing a big production like that. Paul also added a bunch of his own trumpets down in Philly to give it that wobbly style, and maybe just to make sure it was completely out of tune. (Keyboardist) Walt (Martin) and I did the words together.
"We took two trips to Lisbon over the course of writing this record," Leithauser adds. "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."