Twelve years after their formation, the East Coast five-piece have created their finest album to date. The Phil Ek-produced ‘Heaven’ is an epic maelstrom of world-weary hope set amid Paul Maroon’s chiming Rickenbacker and Hamilton Leithauser’s deeply affecting vocal. Great songs jostle for attention; opener ‘We Can’t Be Beat’ is a spine-tingling anthem for the lovelorn and ‘Heartbreaker’ a stunning slab of American-spangled jangle. Tour buddy Robin Pecknold plays second harmony to Leithauser on the barbershop doo-wop of the sublime ‘No One Ever Sleeps’, while the title track pulses and strains like early REM. ‘Heaven’, it would appear, has its very own soundtrack.
Words by JOHN FREEMAN