If the fascinating social media account Humans of New York was an album, it would be Hamilton Leithauser’s The Loves of Your Life. Of the 11 tracks each one is a mini-epic and all are at least partially true. The songs are stories of people encountered at all levels of familiarity from loved ones to random strangers, and Leithauser shares the things we only hear when we tune our own reception to the frequencies of others. The songs “capture the motivation of drama in there, other peoples’ lives, and most of them have had struggles, and the more I think about it, that’s what a lot of the songs are really about, peoples’ struggles,” Leithauser notes.
Leithauser is no stranger to struggle himself, leading the pursuit of creating the album 100% on his own without the comforts of the professional studio. This perpetually written DIY record was recorded in his very own DIY studio nicknamed “The Struggle Hut.” Enlisting the kinds of friends one can only have in New York, like the incomparable Jon Batiste on part-time piano duty, Stuart Bogie on sax, and Mike Irwin’s trumpet lending the record great depth, the listening experience is rounded out by the inclusion of Hamilton’s actual life’s loves: his wife and daughters in the background on opener “The Garbage Men” and closer “The Old King.” The sound is live, the vibe spontaneous, and the stories compelling, The Loves Of Your Life is a document of struggles well worth the efforts.
This album acts as a firm reminder that empathy is alive and well among us. You can hear single “Isabella” on WFPK, WDST, and others, and “Here They Come” is spinning on KRML, KUXT, and WTMD.