Vampire Weekend Redefines with ‘Modern Vampires of the City’

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Album artwork for Vampire Weekend’s new album Modern Vampires of the City.

Music Review:

“Modern Vampires of the City”

by Vampire Weekend

The four-man group, Vampire Weekend, made up of Ezra Koenig (vocals and guitar), Rostam Batmanglij (guitarist/keyboardist and backup vocals), Chris Baio (bassist and backup vocalist), and Chris Tomson (drummer/percussionist), blasted onto the indie scene in 2008 with their debut album, “Vampire Weekend,” and has since then became one of the most popular bands not only in the US, but also in the UK, Canada, France, and Australia.

Their second album, “Contra,” got rid of those horrid 2nd album slumps that so many bands go through, debuting at #1 in the US and Canada, #2 in France and Australia, and #3 in the UK.

Their 3rd and most recent album, “Modern Vampires of the City,” debuted in 2013 with lots of hype and was met with much success, debuting at #1. The 12 songs on the album from the first song, “Obvious Bicycle,” to the last, “Young Lion,” take on a more serious note than their previous albums, Vampire Weekend and Contra.

On November 11, 2011, word was released that work on their third album had begun. For the next two years fans were given discreet details of the album’s progress, and were basically left in complete suspense. Fans first heard content at a music festival in Austin, Texas, where the band played “Diane Young” and “Ya Hey“. Soon thereafter, on March 18, 2013, they released two of the albums most popular songs “Diane Young” and “Step,” and in May 2013 they fully released the album in its twelve-song glory.

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Vampire Weekend members Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio, and Chris Tomson.
(Photo by Ray Rahman)

Ezra Koenig, who is credited with being the main lyricist of “Modern Vampires of the City,” breaches the topic of organized religion often, and how he questions his Jewish faith and where it will take him. “We know the fire awaits unbelievers, All of the sinners the same, Girl, you and I will die unbelievers, Bound to the tracks of the train,” Ezra Koenig, lead vocalist and lyricist of Vampire Weekend, sings in “Unbelievers.” This line from “Unbelievers,” mocks the belief that if you don’t believe in God, no matter how you live your life, “fire” awaits you.

The four-man group of Columbia University graduates that make up Vampire Weekend have created a “trilogy” as Ezra Koenig put it, and with their third album have breached new boundaries. With “Modern Vampires of the City,” any criticisms of them being preppy, “rich idiots,” have been put to rest because the album shows their true diversity and maturity of style.

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