10 Songs, 35 Minutes

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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