If ever there was a band to mature with grace, Vampire Weekend has done that. Their third studio album, Modern Vampires Of The City, released back on May 14th, 2013 after years of recording and experimenting. The result? The band has created it’s most dynamic, cohesive album to date.
For those who have followed the band since day one, they have always brought something a bit different to the table (I have yet to see any other band utilize African music the way Vampire Weekend has). Listening to their self titled album was like being at the hippest fucking high school party, while Contra was like being at a secret rooftop jam session. Even better, each album sounded distinctly like Vampire Weekend (none of that “flip flop artistic styles” bullshit). Modern Vampires Of The City has brought the party from the rooftops to the speakers of taxi cabs, the fields of outdoor festivals, and to the bedroom of your older brother Steve (you know, the town pothead with blacklight posters and a 5.1 stereo system he more than likely found in a dumpster).
Each song is like taking a breath of fresh air. As always, Ezra Koenig’s voice hits your ears with the same old curious inflections and excitement. But each song offers different spatial fun (the story goes is that the album was recorded in an assortment of environments (apartment buildings, studio’s in NYC, and a gas station bathroom stall*) While the song Step sounds like it was recorded at open mic night at the local café, Diane Young sounds like a well-planned studio beat (not to mention, Diane Young is absolutely in the running for top song in summer 2013).
This album is punchy at times, and at other times simple percussion holds on to the beat of the song. When the keys come in, it brings back that distinct preppy/oxford sound we have come to love. And in the midst, we have some pitch shift, we have some guitar distortion, and a lot of reverb (all my wet dreams as a sound designer). If you don’t love it enough, all the themes of god, death, and age will melt your brain. The boys of Vampire Weekend have grown up, and so has their sound.
You really don’t want to miss out on giving this album a listen (if not for me, do it for stoner-brother Steve).
*The band actually didn’t record in a gas station bathroom stall. It would have been a fabulous fucking idea though.
OVERALL RATING: Perfection.
SONGS TO LOOK OUT FOR: Unbelievers, Diane Young, Finger Back, Ya Hey.
TOUR DETAILS: http://www.vampireweekend.com/?s=live