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James Hamilton Leithauser (born April 15, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is best known as the former 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.

Hamilton Leithauser
Hamilton Leithauser.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJames Hamilton Leithauser
Born (1978-04-15) April 15, 1978 (age 41)[1][2][3]
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1996–present
Associated actsThe Walkmen, The Recoys, Rostam Batmanglij

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, the duo independently released a follow-up, Dear God, under both of their names the following year.

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.


The RecoysEdit

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 '93," 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]

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]

The WalkmenEdit

Hamilton Leithauser + RostamEdit

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. Their debut album, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine, was released on September 23, 2016.[9]

Solo discographyEdit

Solo albums


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


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

Music videosEdit

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

Personal lifeEdit

Leithauser is married with two children.[10]


  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". 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. ^ Wood, Mikael (October 24, 2016). "Indie-band expats Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam find a rich new sound". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 May 2018.