New Music Monday - Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam and Woods

Our first #NewMusicMonday entry is "A 1000 Times", the first single and video from DC natives Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam Batmanglij off their collaboration I Had a Dream That You Were Mine. The album has been on heavy rotation since its release last month, and is a leading contender for my favorite of 2016.

While I was admittedly sad when Leithauser's band, The Walkmen, went on "extreme hiatus" over circumstances the band hasn't publicly discussed, I'm happy with how fully he's taken advantage of the opportunities in this second act of his musical career. Collaborating with Rostam, both on his solo debut Black Hours and on this album, has given him the space to explore styles and sonic textures that didn't fit with The Walkmen's vintage punk-inflected vibe.
Hamilton + Rostam on MetroMusicScene

Nobody explores the minefield of lost love and romantic obsession with quite the same flair as Leithauser. His scream-singing is tinged with yearning, even while it makes voice teachers shudder, as he recounts his years-long obsession with the unnamed subject of the song. The video makes it a family affair, with his wife as the woman listening to the song on a tape player (who even has one of those anymore?), and his and Rostam's fathers stepping in as older versions of the pair. Mohammad Batmanglij may not be the household name his son or wife, cookbook author Najmieh, is, but art enthusiasts in the District will know Mark Leithauser as chief of design and senior curator at the National Gallery of Art. My favorite moment of the video occurs during the bridge, with cut shots showcasing the actor playing young Hamilton, present-day (and real) Hamilton, and his older avatar in the span of a single line of the song.

In an election season marked by unparalleled nastiness, I thought we should explore "The Politics of Free", the latest video from Brooklyn easy-folk outfit Woods. Their blissed-out psych folk recalls the atmospherically retro sound of the early Shins and the lighter side of Band of Horses. Over the course of their 11-year career, they've put out an impressive 9 full-length albums. Their latest, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, came out on their own Woodsist label earlier this year.