Vampire Weekend Makes Grandiose Return to Music
By: Ava Butera
As the digital age progresses and we inch farther and farther away from norms in the music world, we as listeners begin to crave new material from our favorite artists yearly. In the past, bands could take a few years in between albums and nobody wouldn’t grow anxious or worried. However, in 2019, with a band as impactful and successful as Vampire Weekend, people have grown tireless, given the “long” gap between albums.
The last effort we received from the band was 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City, a masterpiece, if you ask me. Though the band has sat on this new material for a while, I truly believe it was a smart decision because it forced us to realize how well the band’s previous work ages over time. It’s still strong, relatable, and fresh — even though the self-titled album was released 11 years ago, this year.
But alas, we not-so patients fans asked — basically begged and questioned — lead singer and lyricist, Ezra Koenig, and in return we received probably way more than we deserved.
Vampire Weekend will be releasing two singles per month leading up to the release of the band’s first major record label debut. Along with that, we were given the cryptic acronym, FOTB.
Since Koenig announced the single drops via his Instagram on January 17th, fans have been scrambling to figure out what this could possibly stand for. I personally believe, although truly asinine, Front of the Back, whereas I’ve also seen silly titles like Fall Out The Boy, however also saw great potential titles such as, Frog on the Branch. But along with the release of single, “Harmony Hall” and “2021,” members revealed the official title, Father of the Bride.
As soon as I woke up on Jan. 24th, I scrambled for my phone and immediately dashed onto Spotify to hear the new songs. Seconds into “Harmony Hall,” I began to draw similarities between the track and songs on VW’s second album, Contra. Ezra Koenig’s vocals on the track evoke major Paul Simon self-titled era vibes — effortless, smooth, yet interesting. The incorporation of atypical and almost African-sounding instruments are present on this track. Bongos, tambourines, among others are extremely prevalent along with the calming, soft guitar riff that persists throughout. “Harmony Hall” is very Vampire Weekend, yet fresh and new.
The B-side, “2021,” is vastly different from “Harmony Hall.” This one employs synthesizers, bells, and a vulnerable-sounding Ezra. Unlike the other track, this one features a new sound and direction for the band — more mature, if you will. The slow-paced yet buzzing song is pulsating and bound to be stuck in your head for weeks to come.
To say that I’m absolutely ecstatic by one of my favorite band’s return to music would be a complete understatement. I know that fans, as well as myself, are anxious to see what we receive from the band next. Keep an eye out for their next two singles, which are set to come out next month!