Hamilton Leithauser: The Loves of Your Life review – crooning glory

(Glassnote)

Four of the five band members have reappeared as solo artists after their “extreme hiatus” announced in 2013, but it is frontman Hamilton Leithauser who has deviated least from the Walkmen’s distinctive brand of atmospheric indie. Black Hours (2014) marked a seamless transition into his solo career, and his excellent 2016 collaboration with sometime Vampire Weekend guitarist Rostam Batmanglij wasn’t much of a stylistic departure either. But The Loves of Your Life finds him shifting closer to balladry and the Sinatra-style crooning that was always an arresting subplot of the Walkmen’s oeuvre.

It’s an intimate, thoughtful collection, with Leithauser self-producing and playing most of the instruments himself, with backing vocals from his wife and daughters. The songs themselves tell the stories of some of the people he knows or has met. From the woman leaving her relationship on The Stars of Tomorrow (“Well he can have the pool and the cars/ But I’m taking this Ford and a couple of credit cards”) to the singer with more charisma than talent (the affecting Stars & Rats), these are poignant portraits, with echoes of Springsteen’s chronicles of ordinary lives and everyday struggles. Throughout, Leithauser performs with his customary passion, and this marks a pleasing new direction for a singular talent.

Contributor

Phil Mongredien

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam: I Had a Dream That You Were Mine – review
(Glassnote)

Kitty Empire

25, Sep, 2016 @6:59 AM

Article image
Palace: Life After review – indie trio find new force
(Fiction)

Phil Mongredien

14, Jul, 2019 @7:00 AM

Article image
Xenoula: Xenoula review – an intricate, experimental debut
(Weird World)

Tara Joshi

26, Nov, 2017 @8:00 AM

Article image
Future Islands review – not drowning but raving
Future Islands’ Samuel T Herring is one of the most sweatily intense singers around, but it’s not just theatrics

Kitty Empire

30, Apr, 2017 @8:00 AM

Article image
Warpaint: Heads Up review – all tuned up
With their third album, LA indie girls Warpaint have discovered a sense of purpose – and a handful of seriously catchy songs

Kitty Empire

25, Sep, 2016 @8:00 AM

Article image
Phoebe Bridgers: Punisher review – from the heart
The LA songsmith’s second album doesn’t disappoint

Kitty Empire

21, Jun, 2020 @8:00 AM

Article image
Jay Som: Anak Ko review – subtly impressive
(Polyvinyl)

Kitty Empire

25, Aug, 2019 @7:00 AM

Article image
Stevie Parker: The Cure review – intriguing and idiosyncratic
(Virgin EMI)
The Bristol-based singer makes a virtue of misery on this highly promising break-up album

Kitty Empire

21, May, 2017 @8:00 AM

Article image
Waxahatchee: Out in the Storm review – thrillingly alive
(Merge)

Emily Mackay

16, Jul, 2017 @7:00 AM

Article image
Yard Act review – spiky chroniclers of sour times
Letting rip in the backroom of a pub, post-punk Leeds band skewer Brexit Britain with wit, bile – and a broken wrist

Kitty Empire

02, Oct, 2021 @1:00 PM