Kevin Garnett retired from the NBA on Friday at the age of 40. Since his debut in the Association back in 1995, KG – along with Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki – helped usher in a wave of elite, game-changing power forwards, players who could sway entire seasons in their favor. He was a transcendent talent, a force not so much to be reckoned with as one you got the fuck out the way of. And now, at 40, he’s retired.
Hamilton Leithauser is 38 years old. While he has never won an NBA championship – or made north of $300,000,000 – (that I know of) he’s also accomplished quite a bit at his relatively young age. Five years after KG made his NBA debut, the Walkmen formed in New York, a band that would grow to become one of indie rock’s defining voices, largely based off of Leithauser’s bared vocals. The band would release 7 albums, their last being 2012’s glorious swan song Heaven. And now, at 38, he’s not retired. He just released one of the year’s best albums.
Partnering with ex-Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij, A Dream That You Were Mine is exactly what one would expect from members of two of the 00’s most important bands, especially considering how vital each were to their respective bands’ sound. Yet even though the album is in no way shocking in its technical brilliance, the sounds they pull into orbit are. There’s a rustic charm to many of the tracks, including the raucous “Sick Like a Dog” and “Peaceful Morning.” Acoustic guitars, harmonicas, banjos, they all populate Mine, and they all carry with them a pop sensibility. There are plenty of fantastic moments throughout Mine, but one I keep gravitating towards is during “The Bride’s Dad.” “I think I have worn out my welcome,” sings Leithauser before unleashing his trademark yelp. “I swear I saw you smiling,” he sings, and while I’m not sure who he’s singing to, it might as well be us.
I Had a Dream That You Were Mine is out now.