Not many have heard of Hamilton Leithauser, but his band, The Walkmen, are an indie favorite with a handful of critically-acclaimed albums and tunes that pop up everywhere from best-of-the-decade lists to the ending of How I Met Your Mother. The group has been on “extreme hiatus” since late 2013, but Leithauser is going solo: his debut album, Black Hours, is due June 3, and the video for excellent cut “11 O’Clock Friday Night” was released earlier this week.
In many ways, the song echoes the classic Walkmen sound: most of that is due to Leithauser’s utterly unique, scuzzy croon, at its best in the upper registers, but the cutting, melodic slices of guitar and interlocking pitter-patter of the drums also bring to mind the band's orchestral garage rock. Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors fills out the track with some gentle backing vocals. The video itself was directed by Walkmen guitarist Paul Maroon, and features Leithauser biking around New Orleans, presumably on a Friday evening. This isn’t our first peek at Black Hours material—“Alexandra” was released in February—but it’s the best one so far, and with the likes of Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend, and The Shins helping on the album it'll be hard for it to be a total misfire.