To be perfectly honest, I was not very impressed with Vampire Weekend when they first came out. I remember listening to ‘A-Punk’ on the radio on my way to university a few years back and thinking, ‘What the fuck is this shit?’ Back then, it was incoherent, it was all over the place, and I couldn’t understand what the fuck was going on. Of course, my much more advanced, more mature girlfriend, at that time, thought otherwise. But she’s always been smart, and gifted when it came to things like these, so let’s just leave it at that.
Born out of the need to survive in the said relationship, I opted to open my mind a bit more to things I didn’t readily understand at that time with the hopes that I would find a certain degree of interest in them, and in return a certain degree of truth about myself. Case in point, I realized that I get a wicked allergic reaction whenever I step inside an Ukay-Ukay, I am not good at multi-tasking, and I will never be good at it (no matter how hard I try), and I still have a lingering fear of shaving my head bald unless I hit a 150 lbs. (don’t ask). However, there were also awesome things that I learned about myself as well, like I COULD ride a roller coaster, and I could conjure up the courage to go into a haunted house theme park attraction, as well as how much I fucking love dimsum and Chinese food in general now. I honestly can’t put proper logic as to why I hated it in the first place, but I’m just glad I gave it another shot. And of course, I got to open myself up to really good music such as Vampire Weekend.
I remember the first track that got me hooked into Vampire Weekend was Walcott, off of their self-titled, first release. Hell, I sang it so much randomly at that time, I didn’t care that I was singing the wrong lyrics for a couple of months. From there, it just started to piece together. Contra was released, and Holiday, and Giving Up the Gun fucking blew my mind.
Now, with Modern Vampires of the City, the band seems to have kept the ball rolling, even harder. You could still feel the original Afrikan feel the first album had, but I think for this one, they were able to perfectly mesh it with the more melodic, and more rhythmic feel that Contra has.
The lyrics of Modern Vampires are also something to look forward to. One of my favourite tracks from the album, entitle Unbelievers, upon the first few glances could easily be a song about unrequited love, maybe even a love that just won’t fit no matter how hard you tried. However, after a few replays, it could also mean questioning one’s spiritual/religious beliefs. The lyrics were able to point out various instances without really settling on one idea. Which I think is awesome, cause an audience that thinks, is… basically the audience artists would want, I believe.
Plus the song Everlasting Arms makes mention of a chandelier, which has significant meaning to me, personally. So, yeah, A+ on the lyrics, Ezra.
“Looked up, full of fear, trapped beneath a chandelier that’s going down”
In a nutshell, Vampire Weekend’s Grammy-award winning 3rd studio release entitled Modern Vampires of the City is definitely an album worth investing your time on. It’s an amazing mix of melody, rhythm, lyrics, and straight-up emotions. Hell, it’s an awesome companion for your upcoming summer roadtrips. While you’re at it, why don’t you score their first 2 albums as well? It’s gonna be well, worth it.
Tracks of Interests:
Step, Diane Young, Unbelievers, Everlasting Arms
Here’s a little something more:
Oh and if you can, try searching for their awesome cover of Rancid’s Ruby Soho.