We're All Young Together by Walter Martin on Apple Music

10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Parenthood led an already kooky Walter Martin further down the rabbit hole, where he discovered the connection between children’s music and novelty tunes in rock ’n’ roll. As the first of The Walkmen to release new music while the band are on hiatus, Martin gathers an all-star guest list, from The National’s Matt Berninger and Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O and Nick Zinner to Kat Edmonson and French Kicks’ Nick Stumpf and Josh Wise. Martin keeps the songs simple and relatively unadorned, so the lyrics become extremely important. Songs like “We Like the Zoo (‘Cause We’re Animals Too)” and “Rattlesnakes” are as hilarious as they are smart. The duet with Karen O on “Sing to Me” reveals her soft, childlike side, which is more poignant than one might expect from such an aggressive lead singer. “The Beatles (When Ringo Shook His Mop)” sticks to a silly shuffle and doesn’t bother to try anything approaching "Beatlesque." Martin may develop a side industry here. His bandmates in The Walkmen (Hamilton Leithauser is present) should be a little nervous.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Parenthood led an already kooky Walter Martin further down the rabbit hole, where he discovered the connection between children’s music and novelty tunes in rock ’n’ roll. As the first of The Walkmen to release new music while the band are on hiatus, Martin gathers an all-star guest list, from The National’s Matt Berninger and Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O and Nick Zinner to Kat Edmonson and French Kicks’ Nick Stumpf and Josh Wise. Martin keeps the songs simple and relatively unadorned, so the lyrics become extremely important. Songs like “We Like the Zoo (‘Cause We’re Animals Too)” and “Rattlesnakes” are as hilarious as they are smart. The duet with Karen O on “Sing to Me” reveals her soft, childlike side, which is more poignant than one might expect from such an aggressive lead singer. “The Beatles (When Ringo Shook His Mop)” sticks to a silly shuffle and doesn’t bother to try anything approaching "Beatlesque." Martin may develop a side industry here. His bandmates in The Walkmen (Hamilton Leithauser is present) should be a little nervous.

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About Walter Martin

Best known for his time with the Walkmen, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Walter Martin was also a member of the acclaimed '90s indie rock act Jonathan Fire*Eater and pursued a solo career when the Walkmen went on hiatus. Martin grew up in Washington, D.C. and began playing with the rest of Jonathan Fire*Eater while still in high school; throughout the band's career -- which culminated not long after the release of their major-label debut album, 1997's Wolf Songs for Lambs -- Martin's Farfisa organ stylings helped define their unique sound. After the group disbanded in 1998, Martin, guitarist Paul Maroon, and drummer Matt Barrick built Marcata Studios, a rehearsal space/recording studio in Harlem. They also played for a short time as the band Today Okay before connecting with former Recoys vocalist Hamilton Leithauser and bassist Peter Bauer to become the Walkmen in 2000. From there, the band released a string of well-received albums, including 2002's Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone, 2004's Bows + Arrows, and 2012's Heaven. After completing their touring commitments for that album, late in 2013 the Walkmen announced they were going on an "extreme hiatus." The following year, Martin released We're All Young Together, a set of songs inspired by fatherhood and the innocence and mischief of early rock & roll. The album featured cameos by Leithauser as well as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O and members of the French Kicks. Martin returned in 2016 with Arts & Leisure, a cozy set of songs inspired by art history, architecture, and his youth. For his second "juvenile" album My Kinda Music, Leithauser teamed up with Laura Gibson and the National's Matt Berninger and followed in the footsteps of master storytellers like Garrison Keillor and Randy Newman. ~ Heather Phares

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