Recommended by Andrew Gospe
It’s cliché to attribute a singer’s rough voice to hard living—booze, cigarettes, drugs, or all three. For Hamilton Leithauser, the act of singing itself sounds like enough to do permanent damage. He less sings melodies than attacks them with a throat-shredding, vein-bulging intensity more typical of rock music where the audience wears all black. The Walkmen would have been just another forgettable 2000s indie-rock band without him. As a solo artist, Leithauser could still use a lozenge, but pleasantly retro-pop production from former Vampire Weekend multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij puts that voice in a welcome new context.