Vampire Weekend is making a comeback after a six-year hiatus

Band has been teasing audiences with new releases


Rob D/flickr

By Nicole Bates, Collegian Staff

Vampire Weekend is back. For all the Vampire Weekend fans out there, the six-year wait for new music is finally coming to an end: the band is set to release a new album, “Father of the Bride,” on May 3. Leading up to this album release, the band has been releasing two-song drops from the album, totaling to six songs that have already been released.

Listening to their new releases, you can hear a distinctively Vampire Weekend sound, and you feel the nostalgia of what it was like listening to their past albums with hits like “A-Punk” and “Hannah Hunt.”

Most recently, on April 3, they released “This Life” and “Unbearably White” to add to the four other songs they have already released from the album. “This Life” is an upbeat tune, perfect for summer with a “’90s pop-rock allure.” The song quotes lyrics from iLoveMakonnen’s song “Tonight” in its chorus: “You’ve been cheating on, cheating on me/I’ve been cheating on, cheating on you.”

Things slow down a little bit for the next track, “Unbearably White.” It has a slower, more somber guitar part and a “surge of strings on the chorus:” “There’s an avalanche coming/Cover your eyes.”

For both their past sets of releases from this album, “Harmony Hall” and “2021” in January and then “Sunflower” and “Big Blue” in March, the band also released a music video to accompany one of the two songs: so, we are left wondering, will there be a music video for “This Life/Unbearably White?”

The music video for groovy track “Sunflower” was directed by Jonah Hill and features Jerry Seinfeld. It is a trippy video that features a splitting screen, from two divisions to four, and rotating camera shots that might make you feel a little dizzy watching. The video works well for the delightfully weird song about a garden that begins with guitar and bass-runs and a wordless vocal pattern, and then transitions into a “sunny soul-pop on the chorus.”

A lot has happened for the band during their six-year hiatus from releasing new music. Band member, Rostam Batmanglij left the band in 2016, and he had been a big contributor as a musician and lyricist. So, following this departure the band had to adapt to making music with him. Also, lead singer, Ezra Koenig had a child with his wife, actress Rashida Jones in September 2018. It is suspected that the title of the upcoming 18-track album, “Father of the Bride,” has something to do with these “recent significant developments in his life.”

Though the band wasn’t making new music for six years, they continued to perform at festivals all around the world, “teasing audiences.” In August 2018, they performed at Chicago’s Lollapalooza where they shared five new songs. Then in September they performed in the UK “for [their] first time..since Reading and Leeds in 2014.” They headlined the End of the Road festival in Salisbury, England. Koenig also said at this festival during a question and answer session that “We promise we’ll come back to the UK and we’ll play new songs. And they’re good- I promise.”

So, if these six releases have you excited and you’re ready to hear more from Vampire Weekend, mark your calendar, because May 3 is when all 18 tracks of the album will drop. Also, along with this album dropping, they are going to go on a North American tour, starting on June 6 in Toronto, Canada. They will also be in Boston at the Agganis Arena on September 3 if you want to see them close to UMass!

Nicole Bates can be reached at [email protected]