Every now and then, we do love a good list at Atlas Lisboa. We also love Portugal and we love music. So, we thought we’d make a list of tunes somewhat inspired by Portugal. Since a list of such songs by local artists would be literally endless, this series is about those impressions translated into sound by foreigners.
This is the first of the series.
WALKMEN – “Lisbon”:
“Lisbon” is the title track of the sixth LP by American indie rock band The Walkmen, released in 2009.
The band was somewhat disheartened the year before by the relative flop of their European tour except for their gigs in Lisbon. Musically speaking, there’s no obvious reference to the city, but the atmosphere they found was enough to name their album in its honor, as frontman Hamilton Leithauser describes:
We took two trips to Lisbon over the course of writing this record […] 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. (Stereogum – 3/08/10)
It also received very good reviews at the time and became a fans’ favorite.