Bobby’s WLFC Weekly Review – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine – Rostam and Hamilton Leithauser

By Bobby Beebe

Rostam Batmanglij left Vampire Weekend early this year stating he wanted to spend more time working on different projects, specifically more electronic music. This made it quite shocking when he released a new guitar-based record, I Had A Dream That You Were Mine with former Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser. The duo certainly draw upon, or maybe lean on, the sensibilities of their former groups. Both Vampire Weekend’s catchy pop jangle and The Walkmen’s nostalgic soulfulness are woven together here in what is one of this year’s most infectious indie rock albums. The album works best when Leithauser vocal performance is at the forefront. His crooning on songs like “1,000 Times” and “In A Black Out” pours on the struggles of unrequited love hits a chord, summoning the essence of Bonnie Riatt and Billy Bragg. The compositions, which were mostly created by Rostam, are nice, sweet folky pop ballads that feel like they fit more within the tradition of indie rock of 2009 (Think Edward Sharpe, Passion Pit and Phoenix) than with their contemporaries. Perhaps this is the reason that the album grows a bit stale by minute thirty. While it is nice to hear these musicians cranking out fun and undeniably good songs that fit nicely within their respective canons, we can’t help but wonder why this couldn’t have been a Walkmen or Vampire Weekend record. It will be interesting to see the respective projects that follow this collaboration. Let’s just hope that these two didn’t break up two of the most crucial indie rock bands of our generations for nothing. In the meantime, just tap your toe and whistle along.

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