‘Liberation!’ is a freewheeling take on Peter Matthew Bauer’s personal experiences of life, death and spirituality – reverb drenched declarations of faith and doubt washed over with garrulous melodies and emphatic percussion. It’s a mood neatly summarised in the opening three tracks, Eastern monastical chants rising through ‘I Was Born In An Ashram’, which give way to the shuddering Rock and Roll of ‘Latin American Ficciones’ – a duality that evens out on ‘Philadelphia Raga’ as the harmonies of East and West embrace in the City Of Brotherly Love.

It’s this heady brew of cultures and ideas that plays strong through the rest of the album, culminating in the joyous rabble rousing closer of ‘You Are The Chapel’. It may be a little rough around the edges at times, but with competing solo projects from Walter Martin (sentimental indie rock) and Hamilton Leithauser (polished indie anthems), ‘Liberation!’ is a delightful album from an unexpected source; Bauer’s search for the mystic marking the finest effort yet to arise from The Walkmen’s dissolution.


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