Vampire Weekend is back at it again.
They've announced a new double-album, Father of the Bride, set to drop on May 3rd, and are premiering songs from it two at a time. Following the release of "Harmony Hall" and "2021," their latest sneak-peak further showcases how the band's sound has evolved from the bubbly indie rock we all know and love, into the more mature and sonically nuanced Vampire Weekend of today.
The A-side of this two-for-one single musically echoes a time when singles were still predominantly released on two sides—the 1970s. The opening track of the release, "Sunflower," featuring The Internet guitarist, Steve Lacey, opens with the bass and guitar meandering up and down a major scale together.
This syncopated, playful introduction then roots the listener firmly in a verse that could make a Phish fan's ears perk up. With "Sunflower," Vampire Weekend, with the help of Steve Lacey, shows us what a classic rock jam-band would sound like in 2019. The lyrics, about dreading going out into the sun (appropriate for a band who frequently pays homage to vampires), paired with this devil-may-care instrumentation, create an ironically upbeat anthem for the shut-in.
Flip the digital record over, so to speak, and you'll find the atmospheric and somewhat aquatic ballad, "Big Blue." Arpeggiated chords waver and unfurl in the distance as Ezra Koenig tepidly croons: "Big blue, for once in my life I felt close to you/ I was so overcome with emotion/ When I was hurt and in need of affection/ When I was tired, and I couldn't go home/ Then you offered protection." A steel guitar eventually flies above everything else, reminiscent of a seagull cawing along to Koenig's meditation on whether or not he's alone.
Vampire Weekend appears to be attempting to grow and try new things with this material. Fans should be in for a pleasant surprise when the full double-disk LP finally drops on May 3rd.
Sunflower / Big Blue
Dustin DiPaulo is a writer and musician from Rochester, New York. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University and can most likely be found at a local concert, dive bar, or comedy club (if he's not getting lost somewhere in the woods).
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