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Vampire Weekend returns with vibrant album

/ 02:25 PM May 03, 2019
Vampire Weekend new album

This cover image released by Columbia Records shows “Father of the Bride”, a release by Vampire Weekend. Image: Columbia Records via AP

Vampire Weekend is back after six years with “Father of the Bride”, a multi-layered album both musically and lyrically that washes over the listener like a ray of spring sunshine at the end of a long winter of no new music.

But listen closely to the lyrics there’s a darker undercurrent amid the breezy harmonizing, hand claps and up-tempo jovial toe-tappers.

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“I don’t want to live like this,” lead singer Ezra Koenig confesses on the first single “Harmony Hall”, ”but I don’t want to die.”

On “This Life”, Koenig chirpily sings about pain “as natural as the rain,” crumbling dreams, cheating partners and “this life and all its suffering.”

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“Oh Christ, am I good for nothing?” he sings.

Um, wait. Why exactly are we dancing and smiling while listening to this?

A lot has happened since Vampire Weekend’s last album, “Modern Vampires of the City”, was released in 2013. Producer and multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij left the band, but he still gets credit as a co-producer on several songs. Other guests also make an appearance, including the Internet’s Steve Lacy, Danielle Haim and Jenny Lewis.

Sure, there’s some naval-gazing amid the eclectic musical styles ranging from indie pop to ska, flamenco to jazz presented over 18 songs that clock in just under a full hour.

But through the musical gumbo, excesses, juxtapositions and contradictions, it’s hard not to get caught up in “FOTB”. It’s just good fun. CC

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TAGS: Ezra Koenig, Father of the Bride, music albums, music reviews, Vampire Weekend
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