Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the CityCultureMusicAlbum reviews
If Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City really is the culmination of a trilogy, this latest installment successfully upholds their cheerful take on thought-provoking lyrical content that drives you to get up and dance.
The upbeat, head-bopping single Diane Young is only a prelude to an album that promises some memorable new material. Apart from the confusing chorus of Step and the high-pitched call of “ya hey” in Ya Hey, the creatively composed compilation will satisfy new and old fans alike.
After a slow introduction with Obvious Bicycle, the track Unbelievers is much more keeping with their widely held style and incorporates an interesting arrangement of modern and Celtic melodies. Ezra Koenig on lead vocals is a story teller with his pleasing tone and pitch. He covers material from heartbreak to dying young with an enthusiasm that keeps you moving.
The use of unconventional instrumentals dispersed throughout adds dimension and a unique spin to some otherwise ordinary numbers.
The church organ in Don’t Lie accentuates a somewhat religious discussion about the inevitability of dying: “I want to know, does it bother you? The low clicking of a ticking clock. There’s a headstone right in front of you, and everyone I know.” Despite the disheartening undertones, you find yourself happily singing along.
The deep synth bass in Everlasting Arms disguises the sadness and seriousness of the situation that may otherwise go overlooked given the buoyant melody. Although seemingly encouraging, Koenig is describing how he “was made to live without you” and how he’s “never gonna understand, never understand” the death of a loved one by modern city of vampiresfalling chandelier.
Unlike any other number on this album, Hudson is much darker with an unsettling choir and precise strikes to the snare; the reverberation is drawn out, creating an ominous tune that’s mesmerizing. The incorporation of slower-paced vocals, haunting bass and the sound of a ticking clock that accompanies one verse creates a chilling sense of peril that surprisingly leaves you hoping there’s more to come.
While Young Lion provides a somewhat abrupt finale, Modern City of Vampires has song for every mood. It’s an album that won’t quickly play out.
Modern Vampires of the City is released on 14th May. You you can pre-order the album here.
Watch the video for Diane Young here: