Hamilton Leithauser has enlisted Lucy Dacus for a new version of “Isabella,” from his recently released solo album The Loves of Your Life.
The new version pares down the instrumentation of the rambling, down-home track, allowing the duo’s vocal harmonies to shine. Dacus had opened for Leithauser when he toured behind his 2016 joint album with Rostam Batmanglij, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine.
In a statement, Leithauser explained how they came to record an alternate version of the song: “I was just playing this groovy riff in my home studio and it suddenly sounded like it might work on my song ‘Isabella.’ I guess this amounts to the kind of evolving a new song goes through after a few months on tour…but without the tour. So I just hit record, and a few minutes later I had this whole new version of the song that I kind of loved.”
He added, “I asked my friend Lucy to sing on it—I’ve loved her voice since we used to sing together on stage every night during my I Had a Dream That You Were Mine tour. She recorded it at home and sent it to me. Once I put it all together I thought, ‘Well hell, why not share this with the world?’”
In a statement of her own, Dacus added that Leithauser had reached out when she was “in a bleak spot” and as it turns out, collaborating on “Isabella” helped her break free from her funk.
Leithauser—whom some might know better as the former frontman of The Walkmen—released The Loves of Your Life in April on Glassnote Records. Listen to both versions of “Isabella” here: