Hamilton Leithauser Chats Post-Walkmen Black Hours

September 5, 2014 6:40 PM

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Hamilton Leithauser Chats Post-Walkmen Black Hours

High school marked my musical awakening, a time when I started to really construct my own identity outside of my mom's water-damaged Cat Stevens records, my dad's old Johnny Cash, and the popular boy bands of the early 1990s (I'll never live that down). It was then I discovered my affinity for Nick Cave's poetic brutality, Morrissey's dramatic flair, Billy Bragg's political fortitude, and of course, The Walkmen's confident frontman Hamilton Leithauser who made every note seem essential. They were all there, continually producing new music for me to breathe in as I rapidly devoured and discarded all the bands that never stuck. Naturally, after some 15 years together, I was a little thrown when late last year The Walkmen announced they were going on an "extreme hiatus," but sometimes the best thing a band can do is know when to make a change and shift gears, even if that means going separate ways to pursue individual creative endeavors--which is what Hamilton Leithauser did when he released his first solo record Black Hours.

Black Hours was a risky move for Leithauser since it meant he was stepping out on his own without The Walkmen name for instant recognition--more often than not, his distinct voice is recognized before his name is. Luckily (and unsurprisingly), Black Hours is an absolutely beautiful 10-song record th...

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