It’s the end of May and everyone’s searching for the album to put them in that summer mood. “Modern Vampires of the City,” new album from indie-rock band Vampire Weekend, seems to be a perfect fit. It features a new sound from Vampire Weekend, a little different from their last album “Contra,” released in 2010. The group has created a more mature type of music marked by a calmer tone, and distanced themselves from the typical indie music heard blaring through the speakers at Urban Outfitters. “Modern Vampires of the City” is Vampire Weekend’s first album devoted to their hometown, New York City. Even the cover art is a 1966 photograph by Neal Boenzi of the smoggiest day in history of New York City.
In some songs, lead singer Ezra Koenig sings lyrics that don’t quite make sense to a mixture of pianos and guitars creating a track that put you in a good, carefree mood, while other songs hit some deeper meanings like mortality and the passing of time. For example, Koenig sings, “Nobody knows what the future holds and it’s bad enough just getting old,” in the song “Diane Young.”
“I didn’t realize at first how many references there are to death and ticking clocks,” Koenig said in an interview with The New York Times in May. “I guess that’s what makes an album unified, these little musical and lyrical tropes.”
Although the group may have dropped the hipster style of some of their older songs such as “A-Punk” (2008), “Giving up the Gun” (2009) and “Holiday” (2010) they have not completely let go of their more alternative side. Songs from the new album such as “Finger Back” still include the upbeat music and twangy voice of Koenig that Vampire Weekend is known for. Their style will be a perfect fit at Outside Lands music festival this August in San Francisco, especially with the namedrop of different cities in the Bay Area in the song “Step,” (“While home in New York was champagne and disco tapes from L.A. slash San Francisco, but actually Oakland and not Alameda your girl was in Berkeley with her communist reader”.)
This album has opened up the band to many more listeners and made them much more popular with all different ages and groups. Hopefully this will take the band even further along in their career. “Modern Vampires of the City” shows that Vampire Weekend clearly has musical and lyrical talent and, this only being the band’s third album, shows they have much more music-making and songwriting ahead of them.