Jack’s band of the week- Vampire Weekend

19th March 2013

I know I usually I write about bringing you new or more unheard of tracks to your attention dedicated viewers, but this week, with just a Tweet from the Vampire Weekend saying they were dropping two new tracks I couldn’t resist. So the question is what are they like, and what are they indicating for the new album?

We’ve already heard a song being bambled about the internet ‘unbelievers’. A song seemingly about dying as unbelievers, lyrically a curveball for all vampire weekend fans, but played over two piano tracks of short sharp notes, it’s not a leap more of a stroll away from previous albums.

Everyone knows though that the third album for any band is an uphill struggle, no longer can you simply build upon the first album with added experience and influences (which Vampire Weekend excelled at, adding a further Mexican influence, to their already full bag of tricks of classical, African and preppy sounds for ‘Contra’).

So what does “Diana Young” and “Steps” say about the “Modern Vampires of the City”?

Well “Diana Young” is a classic Vampire Weekend single, think “A-Punk” or “Cousins” it’s fast, it’s catchy and it takes about three listens and you’ll know all the words for the festival season. It seems the theme for the album is Reflection, Diane Young clearly sounding like a more pleasant way to say “dieing young won’t change your mind”, and with all artwork released currently being a sultry grey, should we be worried Vampire Weekend have forgotten they’re the surprise to your kinder eggs?

No. Starting with the ever present bouncy bassline from the start, the song progresses with Rostam’s synths sounding like car horns in a traffic jam. Ezra’s vocals are punctuated by snare beats with a guitar that sounds completely stolen from the solo of wipeout it’s an odd combination, only made more unpredictable by having a vocal effect on Ezra’s voice over his repeated utterances of “Baby Baby”. A combination though that like a recipe, works fantastically when put together well, and it’s piping hot indeed. The song ends with the most thrashy VW have been, “Nobody knows what the future holds, It’s bad enough just getting old” the last few lines essentially the ethos for the song, Vampire Weekend boys’ have been out of College for a few years, and their own mortality seems to be pinned to their old Varsity tops.

‘Step’ is cut from the same cloth as ‘M79’ or ‘Taxi Cab’ it takes the classical piano influence that VW love so much and builds it up after Ezra, who seems to be nearly reading his lyrics from a sheet, bouncing from word to word as the story progresses as he reflects upon how he’s grown. The chorus a collection of cliches “The gloves are off, The wisdom teeth are out” all pointing to how he’s older and seemingly ready for a relationship he’d previously lost. It still manages to come back to the same underlying theme, mortality “Wisdoms a gift but you’d trade it for youth”. It’s a slow one, but it’s good to know they’ll be moments to breathe within the album.

So VW are back, and though the weekend’s over, let’s hope they realise despite aging they’re doing it well. New album ‘Modern Vampires of the City’ out 6th of May
Listen to both new tracks on My show 2-5 Friday 23rd March.
Vampire Weekend (image from prettymuchamazing.com)