Vampire Weekend

Modern Vampires of The City

Written by: HES on 31/05/2013 23:22:43

As an indie-fan it was hard to miss Vampire Weekend as they emerged into the music scene with their debut in 2008. Songs like "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa", "A-punk" and "Oxford Comma" are still on my playlist to this day. So to say the least, I was excited about yet another album from this band.

The band is most easily described as fun and playful. Their sound is poppy, bright eyed and overall happy. "Unbelievers" is a great testament to this: a bit of guitar supported by anthemic choir-bits and something reminiscent of a spiritual organ. The song ends up in a crescendo of flute and synth. Ezra Koening is absolutely sublime in his vocals. "Finger Back" and "Worship" are exactly that; happy. What really, originally sat the band apart was how they brought African influence into the indiemix. "Everlasting Arms" is an example of this with tribal-sounding drums. But something new is shaping this album and it's an overwhelming analogue feel. Usually I am not a fan of those tricks as they usually end up being a worthless hipster-stunt, but on this record it really works. The backdrop of "Everlasting Arms" sounds like an well-used tape gone a bit out of tune and in "Obvious Bicycle" you hear clicks and ticks as from an old movie-machine.

The band also has a bit of "slow" songs to make up for the almost frantic rhythm and joy of the formerly mentioned songs. "Hudson" is a spacy, synth-based ballad with distorted drums and a persistent tick-tock of a clock. All though I liked the analogue elements this is too literal as the lyrics go "The clock is such a drag. All you who changed your stripes can wrap me in the flag". It's too bad, because the lyrics are actually very political for the band and this song could have had a better impact if they'd gone without a god damn clock to mimic the lyrics! But still the band manages to reach something both slow but hauntingly beautiful in the before mentioned "Obvious Bicycle" and "Hanna Hunt".

Generally though - this is a sublime album. It clearly states that the band is able to move on and mature where they could've easily ended up being no more than "just" a band that does sunny, happy indierock with no real contrast. This album will probably further the band's position as one of the pioneers of the genre - and fairly so: The recent single "Ya Hey" has everything from a piano to a yelling-choir and a hip-hop style distorted voices. This record is the perfect soundtrack for a sleepy, warm summer.


Download: "Unbelievers", "Finger Back", "Everlasting Arms"
For The Fans Of: Arcade Fire, The Temper Trap, The Eclectic Moniker

Release Date 14.05.2013

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