It must be equal parts thrilling and wholly infuriating being The Walkmen. While they brag an intricate and alluring back catalogue spanning over a decade - for most, their tireless efforts have always been overshadowed by four minutes of angsty, electrifying post-punk. But let's knock chat of 'The Rat' on the head from the off, because their seventh full length – produced by Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes fame - reaches for a higher place and in doing so takes rank as their wisest, most comfortable and cohesive release to date. While its predecessor Lisbon bore glimpses of a glorious mariachi-tinged direction, it was frustratingly flawed: littered with too many sparse slowburners that pleaded for patience and only ever threatened to reward. Heaven, on the contrary, is more instantaneous – with that warm, cavernous sound realised on a sun-bleached stroll towards elder-statesmen-of-indie status.

The difference is none more resounding than on the opener. 'We Can't Be Beat's tranquil acoustic twinkles certainly echo Lisbon at its most ambling, but in stark contrast Hamilton Leithauser's howl invigorates proceedings at midway. "It's been so long," he croons, before Maroon & Co dive into to join him with some frivolous, campfire-ish "woh-oh"s. It's a sign. The NYC five are happier than ever and oozing poise. This becomes more apparent with the Girls-like, swagger surf of 'Heartbreak' – which revels in its slick 50s three-chord trick, rolling bass and shimmery, caterwauling- Rickenbacker. However, just when it could border on syrupy for Bow + Arrows devotees – LP highlight 'The Witch' announces its arrival with a bass thud that precedes vaudevillian organ stabs and cooing cries. Like a breezy jangle soundtracking a derelict haunted pier, it's both summery and sinister at once.

Worryingly, the MOR drivetime shuffle of 'Song For Leigh' sees them trudging a more conventional path, but fortunately it's juxtaposed with the bittersweet battered delivery of Leithauser – who disdainfully yelps "I sing myself sick, I sing myself sick about you," hauling it from the pits of tastelessness. It's quickly washed away by the baritone hums of interlude 'Jerry Jnr.'s Tune' – which morphs into the much-needed energy- injection of 'The Love You Love'. The latter is infectious and cocksure like The National's 'Abel' and is decorated with a raspy, throat-warming chorus. It's a timely addition, acting as the perfect aperitif to title track 'Heaven' – whose earworming "Remember, Remember all we fight for" refrain chugs and rouses like the perfect cocktail of old and new incarnations. However, it's the gorgeous faux-climax of ballad 'No One Ever Sleeps' that really sets this apart. An eery Grizzly Bear-indebted jaunt, it's spine-tingling spiralling guitar lines are the mark of maturity – but absolutely not in the desperately dull sense.

Ultimately, it's the sound of both courage and comfort – two words that rarely co-exist in modern music discourse – lacing together everything that has defined them over an underappreciated, twelve-year spell. "You're sympathy ain't wasted on me" confesses Leithauser though, seemingly basking in defeat on closer 'Dreamboat'. Surely defeat has never sounded so good, we think.