Vampire Weekend: Keeping a Fresh Sound
Vampire Weekend have been on the scene for a long time, always creating fresh sounds that excite many. Recently they have released a few singles off of their album Father of the Bride, these include Harmony Hall and 2021. These two songs are vastly different than what we are used to with Vampire Weekend. The music is different along with the aesthetic we are all used to with regards to Vampire Weekend. The music is very different, but it’s exactly what I think they’re going for. It’s fresh, it’s new, it’s different, and above all it sounds good. There’s interest not only in the idea that it’s a new path for Vampire Weekend, as all albums should be, but it doesn’t forget about the past. In the song Harmony Hall, they call back to the lyrics in their song Finger Back, off of their third album as they repeat during the end of each chorus, “I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die”. Harmony Hall is an interesting song in terms of it sounding just a bit different, but also because it creates a different feeling. When I listen to it I think of California and monsoon season. This song is able to achieve everything the band is going for, which in and of itself is what most bands want. They’re experimenting and experiencing different events in life and I fully expect the music to change.
In the song 2021, Vampire Weekend is able to show off where they perform best. They’re good at creating pieces that not only create a nostalgic feeling, but also a feeling of the future. It’s a difficult balance to find, but Vampire Weekend is the best at it. 2021 is solemn, but almost childish, repeatedly uttering the word, “boy”, between most of the lines. They also incorporate bell tones which almost mirror the sounds of a toy xylophone. They strike that balance with the sweet, but mellow guitar solo counteracting the bell sound. Each of these are able to work in tandem which is why we get that interesting feeling from the song.
Vampire Weekend have been a band that has always stayed within their respective parts musically, while straying conceptually. We saw it from the shift from all of the albums, but it seems like this time it will be different. It seems like Vampire Weekend are going off of a looser interpretation of their own music, while also straying conceptually. The album has not come out yet, but it is going to be different, and we can all tell. There’s even a change in the way that the album is being presented. The cover of the EP was a snake going in a spiral. The video that Spotify provided was bugs moving around on a leaf. Vampire Weekend have always been good at providing exactly what the people want naturally. They’ve got an amazing thumb on what’s popular and it all just comes to them. None of it feels forced and none of it seems like a group of executives trying to make Vampire Weekend. All I can say about their new album is that I expect to be wowed.