VIDEO: Hamilton Leithauser “Alexandra”

Hamilton Leithauser may (or may not?) have played his final show with The Walkmen, but his first solo record, Black Hours, is definitely coming out this May via Ribbon Music. This first single is an uncharacteristically upbeat affair. It’s odd hearing Leithauser’s voice in such a self-confident and cheerful setting, but when you can sing like that you can get away with just about anything. I dare you not to like this.

The Walkmen Cover Lindsay Buckingham for Holiday Undercover

The Walkmen cover “Holiday Road”

Saw a tweet scroll by this morning that mentioned this and then K reminded in an email, so I have no excuse not to post. The Walkmen are participating in another round of The A.V. Club’s Undercover series. This time it’s Holiday Undercover for, well, obvious reasons, and to comply with the theme The Walkmen chose Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road,” which I assume everyone remembers from National Lampoon’s Vacation. When I first read that this was the song they were covering I was slightly puzzled. It certainly doesn’t suit the band’s typically august melancholy. And then I wondered how Hamilton Leithauser’s voice would accommodate such a high-pitched tune because Buckingham is no slouch vocally in the original. Well, the band put on their party hats and knocked out a faithful rendition. Leithauser even croaks his way into Buckingham territory on the chorus.

VIDEO: White Rabbits “Percussion Gun”

I have no idea why this happens, but sometimes I can hear songs dozens of times without really noticing them. Then one day I’m gobsmacked out of nowhere. This White Rabbits tune had this exact effect on me. It’s been out for a few months, and I’ve heard it plenty of times on Sirius XMU. But one day last week I just suddenly realized how awesome it is. It captures that tense, brooding atmosphere that The Walkmen inhabit so effortlessly, and I can’t stop singing it in my head.