This is the second time Hamilton Leithauser has graced the Tiny Desk. Two summers ago, he and his band The Walkmen played a powerful set of songs from their final album for now, Heaven. The Walkmen announced an indefinite hiatus toward the end of 2013, and since then we’ve heard strong solo records from Walter Martin and Peter Matthew Bauer — and, of course, Leithauser himself, which is what prompted us to invite him back.
These songs put Leithauser’s voice front and powerfully center, even more than it was in the band. There’s a more relaxed feel all over his new solo album, Black Hours, though a few full-throttle tunes get the most out of his huge voice — including the second song from this set, “Alexandra.” Along with The Walkmen’s Paul Maroon on guitar, Leithauser brought along Hugh McIntosh, who played drums in Leithauser’s old band The Recoys. All in all, a fine re-introduction to a singer who’s lost none of his power, even as he’s matured and loosened as a performer.
- “11 O’Clock Friday Night”
- “5 AM”
Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Olivia Merrion, Nick Michael; Production Assistant: Stephen Thompson; photo by Olivia Merrion/NPR