James Hamilton Leithauser (born April 15, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He was the 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. Leithauser was born and raised in Washington, DC and has lived in New York City since the 1990s.
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 vinly-only LP (Dear God) and EP (I Could Have Sworn) 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 RecoysThe 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. 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.
Following the hiatus of The Walkmen in late 2013, Leithauser began a solo career. His debut full-length, Black Hours, was released June 3, 2014.