Vampire Weekend’s Return: Everything We Know So Far

Six years is a very long time in the world of music. Will you take Vampire Weekend back or nah?

2013. That was the year Vampire Weekend released its last album, the relatively gloomy Modern Vampires of the City. The band’s third album in just five years, it was an undeniable chart-topping and Grammy-winning hit. They were graced with a plum spot on Coachella’s main stage that year. They toured a lot.

Much has changed in the time since mid-2013. Vampire Weekend lost a key member, Rostam Batmanglij, while frontman Ezra Koenig found love with actress Rashida Jones, with whom he now has a son. He moved to Los Angeles and worked on Netflix anime series, Neo Yokio, starring Jaden Smith, Jude Law, Desus Nice, and The Kid Mero. 

After a series of furtive teases, Vampire Weekend has shared the first two songs from the band’s long-gestating fourth full-length, which will arrive sometime this spring with a most unexpected title: Father of the Bride. It replaces the previously revealed working moniker, Mitsubishi Macchiato.

New song “2021” is a quiet and unobtrusive ballad that could serve as a bedtime lullaby, crafted atop a sample by Yellow Magic Orchestra founder Haruomi Hosono. Clocking in at under two minutes, it also features Jenny Lewis on backing vocals.

The more upbeat “Harmony Hall” harkens back to earlier Vampire Weekend work, featuring the ex-bandmate Batmanglij as co-producer alongside Ariel Rechtshaid. Greg Leisz and Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth share guitar duties, while HAIM’s Danielle Haim joins the party on backing vocals. The track’s sing-along chorus of “I don’t want to live like this/But I don’t want to die” is ready-made for expansive music festival fields.

 

Koenig revealed to Beats 1 that FOTB will featured 18 songs and the band’s first-ever features, including Steve Lacy of The Internet.

“The people in ‘Oxford Comma’ and ‘White Sky’ and ‘Step’—I had this feeling this is where those people are now,” Koening shared with GQ about the perspectives found across Father of the Bride, referring to the characters who’ve populated the band’s songs over the years. “Like, this is where all this shit ended up.”

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