FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2016 |
Posted by: Mandi Dudek
Hamilton Leithauser has a voice that comes too few and far between. Its coarse and aggressive while at other times subdued and tender, throwing in some surprise falsettos here and there. It's rare and timeless, as if he was from another era. And when you pair up an artist with that sort of vocal range with a multi-instrumentalist and producer like Rostam (Vampire Weekend), it's bound to be a phenomenal collaboration. Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam Batmanglij released their collab project I Had a Dream That You Were Mine today and it's aesthetically pleasing to my ears from start to finish.
"1000 Times" begins with the plink of a barroom piano and a line with the title of the album and Leithauser's vocals go from Alex Ebert from Edward Sharpe to Grouplove's Christian Zucconi to the yearning raspy vocals of Cage the Elephant's Matt Shultz. "Rough Going (I Wont Let Up)" is a shooby doo-wop number with a piano break that leads into a church organ solo - which is Rostam's production at its finest. "In a Black Out" has two acoustic guitars and choir backup vocals, which takes my mind to a western movie scene, riding horses in the middle of a desert (listen to it and try not to think of that now). Leithauser showcases his vocal range throughout this track and I can't get enough of it.
Halfway through "Peaceful Morning", Leithauser showcases his high notes before the banjo break and it might be one of the most influential tracks on the album. A hugely notable track is "When The Truth Is..." which was released prior to the album and the track enhances Leithauser's rasp in a pleading and beautiful way. The album ends with "1959", featuring vocalist Angel Deradoorian and it begins with a twinkly keyboard ballad followed by the hazy, dreamy vocals of Leithauser. The whole song seems like a dream, which is a completely appropriate way to end I Had a Dream That You Were Mine.
I'm going to end with a pretty bold statement: I Had a Dream That You Were Mine is one of my favorite albums of this year. It's a rollercoaster of emotions but maintains the dreamy theme of the album throughout. We really hope this isn't the only project to come from Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam Batmanglij.