Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride: A Review
After six years in absence, the quirky kings of the New York indie scene have returned with an expansive, ruminative epic in the form of their fourth studio album Father of the Bride. Vampire Weekend is known for their intelligently obtuse lyrics and creative instrumentation, but the latest album takes this established sound and injects it with a fresh burst of life.
In the past, frontman Ezra Koenig has relied on his ability to create delicious metaphors through nonsensical lyrics, but he is showing that he is not afraid to speak plainly with his words anymore. The album’s opening track Hold You Now is a beautifully rendered musical conversation between two newlyweds debating their personal commitment to their marriage. Danielle Haim – from pop-group HAIM – lends her vocals as the female counterpart in this song, and features in two more songs on the album, bringing a new dimension to the archetypal Vampire Weekend song.
The meaty lead single Harmony Hall bursts with intricate acoustic guitar and a powerful singalong chorus. This Life places the listener on a sunny, tropical island with its summery guitar licks. The Internet’s Steve Lacy supports on the riff-filled clatter of a tune Sunflower, which will prove to be one of their most hyped up songs live.
Before its almost hour-long runtime comes to an end, the album discusses themes of paranoia, love in the modern age and political turmoil. Father of the Bride concludes with the ballad Jerusalem, New York, Berlin, a heartfelt piano tune that elaborates on Ezra Koenig’s own Jewish heritage. This ends Vampire Weekend’s new album on a note that is both optimistic and pessimistic at once, but instantly makes you want to play it all over again.