Hamilton Leithauser

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Hamilton Leithauser
Hamilton Leithauser.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJames Hamilton Leithauser
Born (1978-04-15) April 15, 1978 (age 42)[1][2][3]
Washington, DC
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1996–present
Associated actsThe Walkmen, The Recoys, Rostam Batmanglij

James Hamilton Leithauser (born April 15, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. From 2000 to 2014, he was the lead vocalist of the American indie rock band The Walkmen, with whom he recorded seven studio albums. Prior to The Walkmen's formation, Leithauser and bass guitarist and organist Peter Matthew Bauer were both members of The Recoys. Leithauser was born and raised in Washington, DC, and has lived in New York City since the 1990s.

Leithauser embarked upon a solo career in 2014, releasing his debut studio album, Black Hours, on June 3, written and recorded alongside his Walkmen bandmate Paul Maroon. In 2016, Leithauser collaborated with former Vampire Weekend multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij on the studio album, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine. It was released to widespread critical acclaim later that year. He released the studio album The Loves of Your Life in 2020.

The Recoys[edit]

The Recoys were an indie rock band from Boston, Massachusetts formed in 1996 by Hamilton Leithauser (vocals, guitar), Peter Bauer (guitar), Damon Hege (guitar), Mike Sheahan (bass) and Hugh McIntosh (drums). The band did release a three-song (now out-of-print) EP of material, The Recoys, while the band was still playing together.[4] The post-breakup LP included the three songs from the EP as well as seven songs meant for a future LP and a tribute song performed by The Lil' Fighters. Three of the songs on The Rekoys, "That's the Punchline," "The Blizzard of '96," and "Look Out Your Window," were rerecorded by The Walkmen for various albums and EPs. Following The Recoys' breakup, Leithauser and Bauer formed The Walkmen, while Hugh McIntosh joined The French Kicks and the Child Ballads as the bands' drummer.[5]

The Walkmen[edit]

Solo and with Rostam[edit]

Following the hiatus of The Walkmen in late 2013,[6] Leithauser began a solo career. His debut full-length, Black Hours, was released June 3, 2014.[7]

In 2016, he formed Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam with Rostam Batmanglij, formerly of Vampire Weekend. They released the single "A 1000 Times" in July 2016, which they performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on September 12, 2016.[8] Their song "In a Blackout" was featured in the commercial for the Apple iPhone 7 and series Lucifer, in the episode "God Johnson" (2nd Season, 16th Episode). Their debut album, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine, was released on September 23, 2016.[9]

His solo album The Loves of Your Life was released on April 10, 2020.[10] On September 4, 2020, he released the live album Live! at Café Carlyle, collecting 10 recordings made during his residency at the New York City Cafe Carlyle. It includes covers of Lana Del Rey's "The Greatest", Big Thief's "Not", and Randy Newman's "Miami".[11][12]

Solo discography[edit]



  • I Could Have Sworn (2015) (with Paul Maroon)

Live albums[edit]

  • I Won't Let Up: Live At Music Hall Of Williamsburg (2017) (with Rostam)
  • Live! at Café Carlyle (2020)


  • "Room For Forgiveness" (2014, Ribbon Music)
  • "Alexandra" (2014, Ribbon Music)
  • "I Don't Need Anyone" (2014, Ribbon Music)
  • Hamilton Leithauser + Paul Maroon - "My Reward" (2016, Leithauser & Leithauser)
  • Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam - "A 1000 Times" (2016, Glassnote)
  • Hamilton Leithauser Featuring Angel Olsen - "Heartstruck (Wild Hunger)" (2016, Glassnote)

Music videos[edit]

  • "Alexandra" (2014)
  • "I Don't Need Anyone" (2014)
  • "11 O'Clock Friday Night" (2014)
  • "Heartstruck" (2016)
  • "A 1000 Times" (2016)

Personal life[edit]

Leithauser is married to Anna Stumpf, who occasionally performs live with her husband and has contributed to records by Leithauser and The Walkmen.[13] They have two children, Georgiana and Frederika.[14][15]


  1. ^ The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser. Pitchfork Media, September 30, 2010
  2. ^ I Did It My Way: Hamilton Leithauser Enters His Second Act. Spin, October 3, 2014
  3. ^ ‘I Had a Dream That You Were Mine” signals a fruitful partnership between Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam. OK West, September 24, 2016
  4. ^ "The Recoys: Rekoys LP". Archived from the original on 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
  5. ^ "The Walkmen Biography on Yahoo! Music". Retrieved 2009-02-17.
  6. ^ Hamilton Leithauser review – only fully connects when the emotions boil over. The Guardian, May 28, 2014.
  7. ^ Stream Hamilton Leithauser Black Hours. Stereogum, May 23, 2014.
  8. ^ Kaye, Ben. "Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam make late-night debut with “1000 Times” on Colbert — watch". Consequence of Sound. September 13, 2016. Accessed September 21, 2016.
  9. ^ "HITS Daily Double - Rumor Mill". September 19, 2016. Accessed September 21, 2016.
  10. ^ Leas, Ryan (10 April 2020). "The Story Behind Every Song On Hamilton Leithauser's New Album The Loves Of Your Life". Stereogum. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  11. ^ Minsker, Evan (19 August 2020). "Hamilton Leithauser Announces New Album Live! at Cafe Carlyle". Pitchfork. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  12. ^ Uitti, Jacob (4 September 2020). "Hamilton Leithauser Discusses Releasing Forgotten Show, 'Live at Café Carlyle'". American Songwriter. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  13. ^ "I Did It My Way: Hamilton Leithauser Enters His Second Act". Spin. 2014-10-03. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  14. ^ Wood, Mikael (October 24, 2016). "Indie-band expats Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam find a rich new sound". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Hamilton Leithauser & Family: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert". YouTube. June 21, 2020. Retrieved June 21, 2020.