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Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend have been loitering around the outskirts of the mainstream ever since they smashed onto the scene with their Oxford Comma-driven self-titled debut album in early 2008. The world seemed to fall for their unique blend of preppy indie and Graceland-era Paul Simon as an antidote to what had become a rather bland music scene around that time. Follow-up album, Contra, confirmed their growing popularity, going to number 1 in their native land while breaking into the top 3 this side of the pond.

Tomorrow sees the release of their latest LP, Modern Vampires of the City, and it’s a pretty impressive collection of songs. The band sought to move on from the sound of their first two efforts but fear not, the change is very much evolution rather than revolution. What is more, this might actually be their best album yet.

Equally able to create wonderful, haunting melodies or make you move your feet (regardless of whether or not you have diamonds on the soles of your shoes), they are one of the most talented bands around and a formidable live act. They seem to create the perfect melodies for a hot summer’s day, but intertwine them with that rarest of beasts in modern music: intelligent lyrics.

There is no doubt that with infectious songs such as Worship You, Diane Young and Unbelievers, this album is going to be one that soundtracks a thousand barbeques this year, but hidden in it’s depths are arguably finer moments of tender beauty.

The justifiable excitement in the music world about the imminent release of the new Daft Punk album is understandable. However lost amid the hype of that event, the erudite New York four-piece known as Vampire Weekend might just have written the album of the year.

by Harry Harland