Hamilton Leithauser (ex-Walkmen) and Rostam Batmanglij (ex-Vampire Weekend) aren’t going for bombast on this track. “In a Black Out” starts with a faint, Spanish guitar line while Leithauser croons about times past. Though it starts quiet, the track reveals itself brilliantly. Batmanglij uses his production whiz and makes you wait. The angelic choir vocals? Chill for a minute first. A triumphant octave-high jump in Hamilton’s singing? Wait ’til the end for that one. Delayed gratification. We gotta earn it, people.
I think part of what makes the song so enjoyable is that it works on different levels. It’s evocative and easy to feel. It’s also a technical marvel. Batmanglij, a man partially responsible for Vampire Weekend’s genius, has produced Frank Ocean and Carly Rae Jepsen among others, and he’s a master at arranging sounds.
The duo’s debut album, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine, is out now on Glassnote.