Important New Music: Vampire Weekend’s “Solely God Was Above Us”

The primary phrase on the brand new Vampire Weekend album is “fuck.” You heard it right here first. (Except you learn that Mojo overview or that Rolling Stone UK function.) The tune in query is “Ice Cream Piano,” and it’s in all probability one of the best opening observe on a Vampire Weekend report but. “You speak of Serbians/Whisper Kosovar Albanians/The boy’s Romanian/Third-generation Transylvanian,” Ezra Koenig sings. In all probability Koenig’s greatest energy as a composer is writing lyrics that make you marvel how the hell he really sings these phrases, a trait that was largely absent from Vampire Weekend’s final album, 2019’s Father Of The Bride.

Solely God Was Above Us appears like a kind of return-to-form LPs that many indie-rock darlings have been making. It may very well be Vampire Weekend’s We or The New Irregular or A Moon Formed Pool. After I first heard the singles—“Capricorn,” with its arpeggiated piano chords, and “Gen-X Cops,” with its high-energy guitar riff—I couldn’t assist however really feel like Solely God Was Above Us was shaping as much as be a Vampire-Weekend-by-numbers report.

On one hand, what’s the issue with that? There have been moments on Father Of The Bride the place I missed the Vampire Weekend that wrote “Walcott.” Not stunning, given drummer Chris Tomson and bassist Chris Baio have been fully absent from Father Of The Bride. It’s an excellent album, however it’s the completely different one. It’s Vampire Weekend’s Trompe Le Monde or First Impressions Of Earth. Hit single “Concord Corridor” gave the impression of a jam band and in addition if the Stones, not Vampire Weekend, wrote a tune for a Cadillac business. If you hear a tune like the brand new “Capricorn” and it sounds a lot like Vampire Weekend that you possibly can simply swap it for an earlier observe like “Step” or “Taxi Cab,” you begin to marvel why this Kool-Help tastes so good.

In all probability the most important purpose why is as a result of, in contrast to on Father Of The Bride, Koenig, Tomson and Baio really collaborated on Solely God Was Above Us. So it sounds a lot like Vampire Weekend as a result of all of Vampire Weekend is definitely on it. Go determine.

On “Prep-Faculty Gangsters” (probably the most Vampire Weekend-esque tune titles ever), Tomson and Baio lock in on a traditional indie-rock groove that units the inspiration for wistful guitar harmonies and African-inspired melodies. “Someplace in your loved ones tree, there was somebody similar to me,” Koenig sings as his voice soars into an arresting falsetto. On this observe particularly, you possibly can really feel the summer time nights on the band’s upcoming amphitheater tour. It’s good to have Vampire Weekend again. [Columbia]

—Jacob Paul Nielsen

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