Hamilton Leithauser goes solo

by Steve

I think I’ve reached the age where I have this small group of favourite bands, will listen to whatever they produce, and be happy with that.

I think I’ve got a little resistant to new music. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty out there to listen to and enjoy, but it feels harder to take a new band to my heart in the same way I did/do with the bands I’ve been listening to for the past decade or two. So, when one of those special bands goes on an “extreme hiatus” like The Walkmen did a little while ago it gives me one less band to care about, one less new album to look forward to hearing. Which is obviously a little sad. So I’m pleased to see The Walkmen’s frontman, Hamilton Leithauser, releasing new material.

The Walkmen had quietly evolved into one of the best and most reliable bands around – every album was worth listening to, and benefited from repeat listens. They’d perfected a certain comfortable weariness, the sound of the end of a hard day, a drink well-earned.

From this first solo song, Alexandra, it seems like Leithauser has taken a bit more of an upbeat direction. Alexandra is a fun song –  hand claps, a catchy hook, some nice ‘n’ high backing vox, tambourine, harmonica, it is almost jolly. This is my kind of party music, if I still went to parties.

The video is pretty daft, but I’m not sure that is a bad thing. If you’re still going to make videos you might as well be silly rather than po-faced.

The song might be a little slight (something you could probably level against a few Walkmen tracks too) but it is still a fine taster for what is to come, with an album Black Hours due out in May. It will be interesting to hear what else is on the album, more of the upbeat stuff or a mix of light and shade, a variation on The Walkmen sound or more of a departure. Something to look forward to, anyway.

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