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All five members of The Walkmen grew up in the D.C. area and attended the same high school. The band officially formed in 2000 when it moved to Harlem and created a recording space called Marcata Studios.
In 2002, the group released its first album, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone — its song "We've Been Had" was featured in a prominent commercial — but it was Bows + Arrows, the follow-up, which launched The Walkmen to national success. "The Rat" and "Little House of Savages" demonstrated the band's versatility, and it was soon booked to play not only concerts and festivals, but also an episode of The O.C.
Though they closed their recording studio in 2006, The Walkmen's members have continued to make great music. The group recently finished recording its seventh album, Heaven, set for release on June 5. Though the new record is quieter than its predecessors, the band has been performing with a full horn section.
Regardless of the band's makeup, The Walkmen's sound is characterized by its simplicity — urgent guitars, driving drums and, of course, the voice of Hamilton Leithauser, who seems to bellow, howl and croon simultaneously.