As one door closes, another one opens. An overused expression but one that perfectly relates to both of the individuals involved in this new project. After the highly publicised departure of Rostam Batmanglij from Vampire Weekend last year, the multi-instrumentalist has since spent much of his time working on solo endeavours and collaborations. One of the first began with the recently ex-frontman of The Walkmen, Hamilton Leithauser, and obviously the two got on so well, they extended their working together to create a full album.
From the start, you can clearly tell how much influence Rostam had on the Vampire Weekend sound. Those twinkling guitar hooks and irreverent song structures remain a staple of this new work, but the dark and brooding vocals of Leithauser give the music a whole new disposition. It is this clash of backgrounds that make this collaboration interesting but not altogether fantastic. The record's tone seems completely at odds with the tracks themselves, creating a confusing release that never really gets going.
While there are the odd glimmers of interest throughout, much of the record just doesn't seem to be able to engage at all. So while this new project may sound good on the outside, the inside just doesn't have anything to remember it by.