Album Review: Vampire Weekend — ‘Father of the Bride’

Posted: by The Editor

The highly anticipated return of New York’s Vampire Weekend has finally come. Their massive double-LP Father of the Bride certainly marks a new chapter in Vampire Weekend’s sound. Their debut album which came out in 2008 featured Afro-pop influences, catchy hooks and upbeat melodies. Lead singer and guitarist, Ezra Koenig, then employed synthesizers and a percussion heavy sound on Contra back in 2010. With their last album, Modern Vampires of the City reaching a peak in their career, the band became indie-pop icons. They created an album that had waves to it both emotionally and sonically. However, since the release of Modern Vampires of the City in 2013, Vampire Weekend was on a bit of a hiatus. With this break, many of the band members explored solo projects and other artistic endeavors. Now with their return in 2019, Vampire Weekend have come back with a completely new sound.

The opening track titled “Hold You Know” featuring Danielle Haim of the band Haim opens with a simple acoustic guitar which later cascades into a Hans Zimmer sample. The lyrics “I can’t carry you forever, but I can hold you now” speak to the change in the band, and their return to the Vampire Weekend project. It’s refreshing to see Vampire Weekend strip back from the sounds of their earliest albums to focus on more wholesome lyricism.

The next two tracks, “Harmony Hall” and “Bambina,” showcase Vampire Weekend’s capacity to write a great pop song. “Harmony Hall”—featuring a groovy bass line, African-style drums, and piano—just comes to show the groups dedication to exploring new sounds but employing them in a modern way. “Bambina” sounds similar to their hit “Unbelievers”, but with more of a sophisticated approach. The song rocks back and forth between percussion and electric guitars and bass, it’s an extremely clever track that keeps you on your toes.

The rest of the album explores influences from reggae, the Grateful Dead, and early 70’s rock ‘n’ roll. Yet what Vampire Weekend does that’s so smart on Father of the Bride is make each track their own. Although overall the album as a whole is a great listen, each track holds its own. Each track adds something special and unique to the album, rather than repeating the same types of melodies over and over again. Tracks such as “Sunflower” featuring Steve Lacy of The Internet, “Stranger”, and “2021” do this remarkably well. The time that Vampire Weekend spent in between albums has allowed for them to grow and mature as musicians, which pays off on the excellent Father of the Bride.


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