Hamilton Leithauser

Hamilton Leithauser

Hamilton Leithauser announces his debut solo album "Black Hours" via Ribbon Music on May 6th (North America)/May 5th (Rest of the world) -- inaugurating a new chapter in an already remarkable career from The Walkmen front man. The album brings Leithauser full circle and then some, from lonely midwinter piano-and-vocals sessions, to a loud, live Rock n Roll group and back again. Featuring Leithauser with a slew of talented collaborators including Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), Paul Maroon (The Walkmen), Morgan Henderson (Fleet Foxes) and Richard Swift (The Shins/solo), the album showcases Leithauser at his most passionate, personal and free.

The video for the first single "Alexandra" was directed by SXSW Film Festival Grand Jury award winning director Tristan Patterson. The track was co-written by Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam Batmanglij, the latter producing and mixing the track.

In its orchestrated rhythms, dynamic vocals, and generous production, "Black Hours" speaks from one booming voice. The instrumentation provides muscle and texture: Maroon covering a wide range of acoustic and electric guitars as well as grand piano; Batmanglij switching between guitar, harpsichord, piano, bass and harmonica; Morgan Henderson from Fleet Foxes takes the marimba and upright bass, and Richard Swift lays down impressive drums on seven tracks (Henderson & Swift will be accompanying Leithauser on a full U.S. tour). Amber Coffman from The Dirty Projectors provides backing vocals on several numbers and even Hugh McIntosh of Leithauser's first band, the Recoys, returns to the drum stool for a pair of songs.

Principal recording was done in August 2013 at Vox Studios in Los Angeles, "the oldest private studio in the world", where Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mercer, and countless others cut demos before appearing on air at NBC studios, just across Melrose Ave.

Courtney Marie Andrews

At just 16 years old, Courtney Marie Andrews left home in Arizona for her first tour. She traveled up and down the West Coast, busking and playing any bars or cafés that would have her. Soon after, she took a Greyhound bus four nights straight from Phoenix to New York to do the same on the East Coast. For a decade or so since, Courtney's been a session and backup singer and guitarist for nearly 40 artists, including Damien Jurado. She never stopped writing her own material, though. Picking up admirers like Jurado and Ryan Adams along the way, she has quietly earned a reputation as a songwriter's songwriter.

With plans to settle down for a bit and focus on her own songs, Courtney moved to the Northwest in 2011 to record her last full-length record On My Page. However, the record had hardly been released before she was on the road again performing other artists' songs, eventually leading her overseas to play guitar and sing with Belgian star Milow. At the tour's end, though, the other session players joined her to record her 2014 EP Leuven Letters in one take.

It was during this time that Courtney also wrote many of the songs on Honest Life. She found herself realizing the impact of growing up on the road and this constant reconciling between her and other's art and identity. Courtney will take it from there:

While in Belgium for four months, I was going through a major heartbreak. I started growing homesick for America and the comfort of family and friends, and life in the states. That's where I wrote the first songs for Honest Life. It was a giant hurdle in my life. My first true growing pains as a woman. That's why in a sense, I feel this record is a coming of age album. A common thread that runs through the songs, is a great desire to fit somewhere, when nowhere fits. And wanting to get back home to the people I know and love. Once I got back to the States, I started to bartend at a small town tavern. I was home for a while, and needed to post up while rehearsing with the band for the record. At the tavern, I felt I could truly empathize with the stories and lives of the people there. I wrote the other half of the songs about coming home and feeling a sense of belonging again. A lot of the stories at that tavern definitely ran parallel with my own, even though our lives were so different. I was the "musician girl." They were farmers, construction workers, plumbers, waitresses, and cashiers. But, no matter how different, I felt we were all trying to live our most honest life.

Courtney produced the entire record herself at Litho Studios in Seattle with recording engineer Floyd Reitsma.

$20.50 - $29.50

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