They’ve been called indie rock all the way to baroque pop, it’s safe to say that Vampire Weekend has already had a colorful history. The quartet, featuring Ezra Koenig on vocals and Rostam Batmanglij on back-up vocals, started making waves in 2008 with their self-titled first album. From then on, the band has met much praise from fans and critics alike. The follow up album, Contra, is where the band exploded from the college indie scene to mainstream America. With hits like “Cousins”, “Giving up the Gun” and a music video featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Lil Jon, Vampire Weekend has made it’s mark. Now, with the release of their newest album, Modern Vampires of the City, the band aims to end their three album trilogy, but does this trilogy end on a good note, or has Vampire Weekend missed a vein?
It’s hard to imagine a New York City indie rock band without Vampire Weekend. They’re just that damn good. Funky, quirky and a bloody good time, Modern Vampires of the City is the end of a trilogy, and what a fine one it is. Topping your first two albums is a hard thing to do… Most artist fumble under the pressure. However, this is not the case with MVotC. This is Vampire Weekend’s best outing. Vibrant with catchiness and much darker than records from the past, MVotC not only grows on you with it’s quirkiness and charm, but builds a solid foundation in terms of themes. Whether it’s the mistrustful relationship in “Hannah Hunt” or the dangerous dance of mortality in “Diane Young”, the songs do not bore. “Unbelievers”, “Step”, “Don’t Lie”, “Hannah Hunt” and “Diane Young”can all easily be considered stand outs. The fast and unique vocals of Ezra contrast the deep smoky vocals of Rostam excellently… especially in “Don’t Lie”. Not only are the lyrics engaging, the music is just as splendid. Thumping pop beats, piano, beating drums and a fine collection of orchestra strings, make the album a New York City melting pot of sounds. And these boys sure do love to name drop cities (New York City, Santa Barbara, Oakland, Providence, Phoenix, San Francisco, Anchorage, Mechanicsburg, and L.A…. just to name a few). The best thing about the album is the replayability, I expect this album to be in my personal playlist for a long time to come.
Almost nothing. Nearly nothing. The more I listened to the album, the more I fell in love with it. Even the silly chipmunk voice effects in “Ya Hey” become quirky and tolerable (side note: the voice modifications in “Diane Young” are much better). The album does fizzle in the last song or two, both are not as memorable as the rest… But even this is a minor complaint.
A superb blend of aesthetic styles, themes and cultural influences and quirky lyrics make Vampires of the Modern City an indie force to be reckoned with. The album is full of instant classics and should be at the top of the charts for a while. The question is, where does the band go from here? With the trilogy is over, can we expected departure in their next album(s)? Regardless, Vampire Weekend knows how to please – I think we’re in safe hands.
Vampire Weekend will also be Headlining Lollapalooza in Chicago on July 19th
and at Austin City Limits in October.
For more tour dates and news, check out the bands website at www.vampireweekend.com