A modern take on blues
Most genres seem to change along with the years; new styles take over old ones, subsets form, and the definition of the genre broadens. Blues and soul music, however, are genres that have remained relatively unchanged compared to their rock and hip-hop brethren. Hamilton Leithauser, former singer of the legendary indie rock band The Walkmen, and Rostam Batmanglij, former multi-instrumentalist for Vampire Weekend, have come together to release their first collaborative album, I Had a Dream you Were Mine, exploring blues and soul styles through the filter of their respective indie rock roots, taking the stalwart genres in a new direction. “When the Truth Is…,” starting with a soulful slide guitar solo and sultry vocals that paint a picture of painful loneliness from Leithauser, is downtempo and written in the 6/8 time signature, giving the song a classic blues feel from the get go. 
In the song’s unconventional and brief chorus, Leithauser belts out his lyrics passionately and erratically, in a style similar to that of Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock, amidst a jarring flurry of baritone saxophone and drum kit percussion. Turning the energy back down abruptly, Rostam lays a foundation of pulsing high pitched piano and light jazz swing beats underneath labored sighs of the baritone and scattered bass plucks as Leithauser channels inspiration from old school soul singers and croons softly as the song fades into the night. “When the Truth Is…” is a beautiful example of how beauty can be derived from ugliness: feelings of loneliness and alienation can manifest themselves into a moving piece of music that leaves you feeling that you have gained, rather than lost something.