Album Review: Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had a Dream That You Were Mine
By: John Zappala
Back in 2014, Hamilton Leithauser, who was previously the lead singer of The Walkmen, released his first solo album. The album, Black Hours, featured two songs that were produced by Rostam Batmanglij. Fast forwarding to 2016, The Walkmen are still on hiatus and Rostam announced his departure from Vampire Weekend to pursue his solo career. After Rostam’s announcement, it became evident through social media that him and Leithauser were reuniting to cook up a full length LP. As a result, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine is the result we were given, and it’s great foundation for their project. The album starts off with “A 1000 Times”, which introduces Leithauser’s powerful vocals and Rostam’s genuine rhythm. Every lyrical line is straight forward, and delivers a hard punch that makes each word meaningful to the song’s story (this is very evident throughout the first few verses of the song). Rostam’s performance on the piano and guitar compliment Leithauser’s vocals, resulting in a song that captivates its audience with a catchy tune. The darkest song on this album, ironically, is “Black Out”. Its guitar melody instantly places you on your neighborhood sidewalk after midnight, accompanied by Rostam’s church choir filling the cracks in the pavement. “When the Truth Is…” successfully integrates slide guitar melodies, out of placed saxophones, and heavy Leithauser vocals, all of which weigh down its ghostly ending with Rostam’s piano hymn that relates to VW’s Hannah Hunt. As a whole it contains familiar elements of old and new VW, and it makes you really commemorate Rostam’s role in the studio. Leithauser and Rostam have given us a great clue on what’s to come for a potential future together.
Rating: 4/5 (High Rotation)
RIYL: The Walkmen, Vampire Weekend, Rostam, Hamilton Leithauser, Baio
Recommended: 1, 2, 4, 6,