The video for the first single "Alexandra" was directed by SXSW Film Festival Grand Jury award winning director Tristan Patterson. The track was co-written by Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam Batmanglij, the latter producing and mixing the track.
In its orchestrated rhythms, dynamic vocals, and generous production, "Black Hours" speaks from one booming voice. The instrumentation provides muscle and texture: Maroon covering a wide range of acoustic and electric guitars as well as grand piano; Batmanglij switching between guitar, harpsichord, piano, bass and harmonica; Morgan Henderson from Fleet Foxes takes the marimba and upright bass, and Richard Swift lays down impressive drums on seven tracks (Henderson & Swift will be accompanying Leithauser on a full U.S. tour). Amber Coffman from The Dirty Projectors provides backing vocals on several numbers and even Hugh McIntosh of Leithauser's first band, the Recoys, returns to the drum stool for a pair of songs.
Principal recording was done at Vox Studios in Los Angeles, "the oldest private studio in the world", where Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mercer, and countless others cut demos before appearing on air at NBC studios, just across Melrose Ave.