The Walkmen: Tiny Desk Concert Singer Hamilton Leithauser may wield an acoustic guitar in these three songs, but this is no awkward attempt to shoehorn booming rock anthems into arrangements that don't suit them. It's clear that these guys were making the Tiny Desk accommodate their sound rather than the other way around.

Tiny Desk

The Walkmen

The Walkmen: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/157190242/157485572" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Walkmen's wiry, weary, seething rock 'n' roll has mellowed in recent years, as vein-bulging hollers have given way to a richer, more gently paced and layered sound. But it's still not exactly the stuff of campfire crooning: We'd spent the days leading up to this Tiny Desk Concert in the NPR Music offices wondering how on earth The Walkmen would downsize these songs behind Bob Boilen's desk. For one thing, Hamilton Leithauser sings with such intensity that it'd be hard to dial down the instrumentation too much — you'd never hear it.

Leithauser may wield an acoustic guitar in these three songs, but this is no awkward attempt to shoehorn booming rock anthems into meek arrangements that don't suit them. From the opening notes of "Heaven," the magnificently stirring title track of The Walkmen's recent seventh album, it became clear that these guys were making the Tiny Desk accommodate their sound rather than the other way around. Leithauser's voice soared far down the hallways at various points in all three of these songs from Heaven — "Remember, rememmmmmmmber, all we fight for!" "It's been soooooooooooooo long!" "Love is luuuuuuuuuuuuuck!" — lending them grit and grace, not to mention hair-raising intensity that feels a little jarring coming from a bunch of guys in crisp button-up shirts.

Set List:

  • "Heaven"
  • "We Can't Be Beat"
  • "Love Is Luck"

Credits:

Producer and Editor: Bob Boilen; Videographers: Becky Lettenberger, Nick Michael and Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; photo by Blake Lipthratt/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

TH1RT3EN performs a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

TH1RT3EN (Home) Concert

Pharoahe Monch's fed-up rock band performs four songs for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

DakhaBrakha NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

DakhaBrakha (Home) Concert

The Ukrainian rock band joined us from Kiev for a Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST concert.

Sofia Rei NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Sofia Rei (Home) Concert

The Argentine singer-songwriter performed a three-song set from her Brooklyn apartment for Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST.

Labess NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Labess (Home) Concert

This Algerian and Canadian band recorded its Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST set from Colombia and France.

mxmtoon plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

mxmtoon (Home) Concert

The YouTube star performs five songs in her Tiny Desk quarantine concert.

Jazmine Sullivan plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Jazmine Sullivan (Home) Concert

The R&B star celebrates her new album, Heaux Tales, with a Tiny Desk quarantine concert.

Active Child plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Active Child (Home) Concert

Patrick Grossi's heavenly voice is backed by a stunning view of the San Gabriel mountains in this Tiny Desk quarantine video.

Sevdaliza plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Sevdaliza (Home) Concert

The Iranian-Dutch singer and producer performs four songs during her Tiny Desk quarantine set.

Cory Henry plays a holiday Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Cory Henry (Home) Concert

The former Snarky Puppy keyboardist and bandleader performs a special holiday Tiny Desk for our quarantine series.

Back To Top