It’s been a week since indie darlings Vampire Weekend released their highly acclaimed third studio record called “Modern Vampires Of The City.” Everyone and their mum has had a chance to dig in deep and since they have been playing a bunch of shows in NY, LA and Boston people have had a chance to hear these new songs live. Just incase you get confused by my jibber jab in what I hope doesn’t turn into a slanted diatribe I will say this: The is the best Vampire Weekend record yet.
Is it too similar to Contra and their self titled first release? Is it true to the music they have based their careers on? This record is the definition of balance and reinvention without losing the direction of the band and abandoning why people like them in the first place. This record is important for 2 reasons. One is that it’s the third record and they managed to release something that sounds so specifically like them with genre defining rhythms and catchy hooks and smart song writing. The second reason is it takes the Vampire Weekend sound to the next level. Lots of vocal effects and a reveal of the quieter side of the band. The album opener “Obvious Bicycle” is not an obvious album opener at all. It’s slow and plain. The Ezra’s voice and the harmonies are still the driving force and the delicate nature of the song is the perfect setup for what’s to come.
The second track is called ‘Unbelievers’. Hands down without a doubt this song is my favorite new Vampire Weekend song. Lyrics are great. Melody is great. Drums and bass are great. This is what I have come to expect from Vampire Weekend. Their consistency in live performance and on their live albums is unmatched at this point. They haven’t really played shows in about two years, but they have the poise and confidence of a band that has played everyday for the last decade. The confidence comes through in the performances I have been posting but also through the music. As I move through the album I didn’t find one weak track. I had questions of how they are planning on playing some of the songs live because of all of the effects, but they put all my concerns to ease when I recently saw them in Pomona, CA between Coachella sets where they played a flawless version of the single, ‘Diane Young’.
‘Diane Young’ comes in close as my my second favorite tune on the album. I know I said this before so I’ll be brief, but this is a definitive Vampire Weekend Song. Dancy and poppy with screaming guitars and a great back beat. The show I saw in Pomona was at a relatively small theater in a small town just outside of LA. The sold out crowd came to party and so did the band. They ripped through the hits (A-Punk, Cousins) and peppered the set with the rest of the best. The hour and thirty minute show proved that Vampire Weekend is back in a big way. Their tour will continue for about the next year or so and having already stopped into Coachella and SNL with more to come at Sasquatch, Firefly, Glastonbury, Lollapalloza, Outside Lands and The Hollywood Bowl. I think it’s safe to say they are going to be exhausted.
I’ve seen Vampire Weekend about 4 times now. I go to see them for one reason and one reason only, consistency. They play it all and bring the sheer energy necessary to make it big in the industry today and keep getting bigger. I would point you in a direction to buy the new album “Modern Vampires Of The City” but we both know you already have it.