If Vampire Weekend’s self titled debut album and sophomore release Contra were the band’s youthful and wild days of their early 20s, then their latest release Modern Vampires Of The City sees them edging towards the big 3-0.
Stripped back, airy and more mature as the title suggests, it’s a darker collection of tunes. Gone are their African and ska-inspired beats, yet the four-piece still maintain their quirky and insightful lyrics with polished musicianship.
There’s a slower pace to the album which is felt immediately with the album opener “Obvious Bicycle”. A laborious drumbeat begins the piece before oozing into Ezra Koenig hushed falsetto which floats above the steady rhythm. The piece becomes richer as the harmonies of the word “Listen” are accompanied by a gentle piano melody.
“Hudson” another raw track shows a different dimension to the band’s sound. Its almost spoken and hushes lyrics and intrusive drum beats are an obvious deviation from their previous work.
Other tracks seem to effortlessly build on their previous two album. It’s an album that feels simultaneously fresh and yet strangely familiar
“Unbelievers” features thumping drum beats similar to ‘A Punk’ and “Walcott” style dancey keyboard chords.
Album highlight ‘Worship You’ is a dance-worthy piece with Ezra’s fast paced lyrics and auto distorted vocals scurrying through its rhythmic beats
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Single “Diane Young” which plays on the lyrical concept of dying young, is a rocky dance tune. Its weaving of unusual synth sounds with a classic rock lineup is Vampire Weekend’s quintessential style.
Modern Vampires Of The City shows that for Vampire Weekend maybe getting older isn’t such a bad thing.