A day for the indie rock record books, Kevin Morby and Hamilton Leithauser have swapped covers of each others songs on Instagram. A blessed day it indeed is.
This gives me as good an excuse as any to recount a little indie-rock history lesson: Leithauser grew up in Washington D.C. and eventually joined up with the Boston-based band The Recoys. Leithauser was friends with another group of D.C. musicians who moved to New York and created the band Jonathan Fire*Eater, who were basically The Strokes before The Strokes were The Strokes. Anyway, tensions within the group due to the drug intake and erratic behaviour of lead singer Stewart Lupton – may he rest in peace – led to their breakup before they could ever get past the hyped up stages of early success. The remnants of the group, minus bassist T.A. Frank who pursued a career in journalism, asked Leithauser and Recoys bassist Peter Bauer to join their new band, The Walkmen. Even though they’re NYC-based, all five members have their origins in the DMV, making them a beloved local cultural treasure. If you want to know more, read Elizabeth Goodman’s sensational Meet Me In the Bathroom.
OK, back to modern times. Leithauser covered Morby’s ‘Come to Me Now’ on Morby’s Instagram, and Morby covered Leithauser’s ‘A 1,000 Times’, a collaboration with Rostam, on Leithauser’s Instagram. A sweet bit of cross-promotion that could maybe indicate a collaboration in the future? C’mon guys, give the people what they want!
“This is the first song of Kevin’s I’d ever heard — I originally discovered it because it was produced by our mutual friend the late, great Richard Swift, and I’ve always really liked it, and I wanted to do it proper justice,” Leithauser mentions in his post. “So we rehearsed, and we set up a lot of stuff in a field in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.”
It’s all very sweet and wholesome. Check out their Instagram performances down below.