14 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While Hamilton Leithauser has pointed to crooners like Frank Sinatra, Cole Porter, and Randy Newman as influences on his first solo record, you won’t hear them on Black Hours. At least, not overtly. Stylistically, you might catch a hint of Ol’ Blue Eyes on “5 AM” or a whiff of Newman’s somber piano pop on tune like “St. Mary’s County,” but here the frontman of The Walkmen (currently on “extreme hiatus”) sounds more like that band on effusive numbers like “Alexandra” and “11 O’Clock Friday Night.” The pop jewel “I Don’t Need Anyone” has reedy guitars and indie-thoroughbred blood; horns, strings, harmonica, and marimba make strong bedfellows for Leithauser’s vocals on songs like “I Retired” and “The Silent Orchestra.” With guests like Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman, Fleet Foxes’ Morgan Henderson, The Shins’ Richard Swift, and Paul Maroon of The Walkmen, Black Hours feels satisfyingly textured and alive, and even exciting with its comforting familiarity. Don’t miss the bonus tracks: the surprising “Waltz” or the supremely moving “In Our Time.”

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While Hamilton Leithauser has pointed to crooners like Frank Sinatra, Cole Porter, and Randy Newman as influences on his first solo record, you won’t hear them on Black Hours. At least, not overtly. Stylistically, you might catch a hint of Ol’ Blue Eyes on “5 AM” or a whiff of Newman’s somber piano pop on tune like “St. Mary’s County,” but here the frontman of The Walkmen (currently on “extreme hiatus”) sounds more like that band on effusive numbers like “Alexandra” and “11 O’Clock Friday Night.” The pop jewel “I Don’t Need Anyone” has reedy guitars and indie-thoroughbred blood; horns, strings, harmonica, and marimba make strong bedfellows for Leithauser’s vocals on songs like “I Retired” and “The Silent Orchestra.” With guests like Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman, Fleet Foxes’ Morgan Henderson, The Shins’ Richard Swift, and Paul Maroon of The Walkmen, Black Hours feels satisfyingly textured and alive, and even exciting with its comforting familiarity. Don’t miss the bonus tracks: the surprising “Waltz” or the supremely moving “In Our Time.”

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
38 Ratings
38 Ratings
fabsterlink

Alexandra? Alexandra.

After listening to this single Alexandra, I really didn't know how to react. To be honest I was expecting more Walkmen sound. I didn't know at first how to take Leithauser's awesome signature croon over the upbeat indie rock, so I had to remind myself this isn't another Walkmen album, its a Leithauser album. After realizing that the single became fun, new, and exciting, and I can't wait to hear more of that from this new album! Bring on the Leithauser!

kaitlynaileen

I dare anyone...

I dare anyone to listen to his song "I Don't Need Anyone" and not imagine it being perfect for a big "we've broken up, but I'm pretending I'm fine and I'm already over you" blockbuster movie scene. The scene: She breaks his heart as she ends the relationship on the streets of a city at night. She turns and walks away, he's left standing there alone. He pretends he's fine, denial. A day or so later, he decides to go out in his neighborhood for a jog. Earbuds in. The song "I Don't Need Anyone" plays as he takes off jogging... Don't lie, you're totally picturing it now.

SirajA

Vintage. Sophisticated.

Hamilton Leithauser resurrects the Walkmen’s style and in the process resurrects a really vintage sound—this record feels jazzy, indie, and just old-timey. It’s fantastic and really exuberant.

About Hamilton Leithauser

Best known as the frontman for the Walkmen, Hamilton Leithauser embarked on a solo career once that band went on hiatus following its 2011 album Heaven. Leithauser assembled a crack team of supporting musicians to work on his new material, including Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, Fleet Foxes' Morgan Henderson, the Shins' Richard Swift, Dirty Projectors' Amber Coffman, and his Walkmen bandmate Paul Maroon. Recorded at Los Angeles' Vox Studios, Leithauser's debut album Black Hours -- which was inspired by Frank Sinatra's music and prefaced by the single "Alexandra" -- was released in May 2014. Leithauser reteamed with Batmanglij for 2016's I Had a Dream That You Were Mine. Recorded at Batmanglij's home studio in Los Angeles, the pair borrowed the best of their previous bands as well as '50s and '60s rock and soul with postmodern abandon. ~ Heather Phares

Songs

Albums

Listeners Also Bought