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Review of Vampire Weekend's First New Songs in Six Years

The indie band makes their long-awaited comeback with two stellar singles.

By: Chase Congleton

After a six-year hiatus, Vampire Weekend started their long-awaited comeback with the release of their two new singles, “Harmony Hall” and “2021”.

Known for their fusion of alternative rock and baroque pop, the indie-rock band was a force to be reckoned with in the independent music market in the early 2010s. With popular songs such as “Unbelievers” and “Oxford Comma,” the group cultivated a fanbase with their grandiose music. Despite a lengthy gap since their previous album, Vampire Weekend continues to expand on their lively and unique sound.

Like a flower starting to bloom, “Harmony Hall” starts with a soft guitar accompaniment. As the song continues, piano and backing drums are added to create an upbeat anthem for those who listen to it. To anyone listening to the song blindly, it appears to be an upbeat anthem that is perfect for spring. However, the lyrics are an antithetical construction that dictates a sense of dread. With the lyrics “I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna to die,” the band’s singer, Ezra Koenig, contemplates the state of American politics in the modern era. Since the 2016 presidential election, there has been a rise in anti-semitic acts, and Koenig, with his Jewish-American heritage, refuses to ignore the chaos. While never explicitly stated, the lyric “anybody with a holy mind can never forgive the sight of wicked snakes inside a place you thought was dignified” can be interpreted to be about the White House and the state of American politics. Despite the lyrics somber discourse, the instrumentation involves a backing beat that’s perfect for your next bonfire retreat playlist, culminating into a single that could spark and ignite a revolution.

The “A-Punk” band’s other release, “2021,” projects less of a political undertone, but rather provides a more intimate conversation to the listener. With its soothing synths and meticulously finger-picked guitar chords, Koenig softly asks their fans if the long wait between albums caused them to forget about them. The ballad’s soft progression throughout its duration makes it perfect to use while studying or lying in bed all day. Vampire Weekend asks the listener if they wait three more years to release music, would the listener still remember them? With a double release as great as these two songs, it’s safe to say we will remember Vampire Weekend for years to come. Vampire Weekend is set to release their fourth album, “Father of the Bride” this year.


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