With the recent release of two double singles, “Harmony Hall” / “2021” and “Sunflower / “Big Blue,” Vampire Weekend gave fans a taste of their upcoming album, Father of the Bride. The singles greatly expressed the band’s unique style, combining elements of lead vocalist Ezra Koenig’s indie sound and the rock style of the instrumental. Fans are extremely excited for the release of their fourth studio album, which is their most recent release since their 2013 album, Modern Vampires of the City. The album is reported to have 18 tracks.
The title of the album was picked by Koenig several years ago before the birth of his child with actress Rashida Jones last summer. The name has multiple meanings and illustrates the band’s “paradox” of making songs that can be played in any setting but have a deeper meaning on a lyrical level.
Each of the four tracks has a different sound, with “Sunflower” being the catchiest with a groovy beat and a number of guitar and bass runs. The song is described by Rolling Stone as “[hopscotching] by in a blur, and is over in 2:18–at which point you want to hear it again.”
Lily Mesterhazy, MCAS ’22, states, “’Sunflower’ is really innovative. I love how Vampire Weekend used the guitar and bass to make really unique sounding runs that give the whole song an interesting vibe.”
The music video for “Sunflower,” directed by Jonah Hill, is just as unique as the song, filmed with a split-screen and a spiraling point of view. The video depicts Koenig giving guitarist Steve Lacy a tour of restaurants in New York City, the band’s home turf. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is also featured in the video, as a tribute to the famous ‘90s television series, Seinfeld.
Emma Twombly, MCAS ’22, states, “Before ‘Sunflower,’ I had never listened to Vampire Weekend before because that isn’t really my type of music. I originally watched the music video because I love Jonah Hill, and I soon realized that the song was actually really good.”
“Harmony Hall,” written by Koenig, has a very different vibe from “Sunflower,” being much more cheery and bright. Giving off more of a spooky and eerie feeling, “2021,” is an extremely short track credited to both Koenig and Japanese pop legend Haruomi Hosono. Finally, “Big Blue” exhibits yet another unique sound, with slow lyrics and flowery harmonies.
Vampire Weekend has always been a very diverse band, and these four releases only serve to prove that point further. Overall, Vampire Weekend’s diversity in lyric and vibe among the released four songs of Father of the Bride is extremely impressive. Fans can’t wait for the release of the entire album, with a release date still to be determined.