Six years ago, Vampire Weekend released Modern Vampires of the City, an album that signified the close of a trilogy of albums that introduced, settled in and said goodbye to a sound that captivated and shifted the music industry. It brought an end so perfect that it was hard to really see where the band could go afterwards. Sure enough, six years provides ample time to prove us wrong.
Father of the Bride is the beginning of a new chapter for Vampire Weekend. Six years brought forth a lot of changes, experiences and departures for Ezra Koenig and co. The result is a double album that defies a bloated performance, and assumes form as if no time had passed at all.
Opening track “Hold You Now” introduces a new sound. A sound that lightens up the monochrome texture of Modern Vampires but maintains the album’s maturity. Acoustic guitars soundtrack lyricism of weddings and love to kick off a series of duets with Danielle Haim, bringing a more grounded side that keeps the eccentricities on the simmer for a bit. Of course, the instrumentation blooms into a soaring gospel choir towards its close but it’d be sacrilege to have Vampire Weekend strip away all of their personality.
There’s a collision of emotions that lasts the entirety of the record. Ezra continually shifts from celebrating life and love to highlighting insecurities that often heads into the darker moments of the album. The overly upbeat chorus of “This Life” hangs over lyrics of cheating blurs the lines a little, whilst “Unbearably White” washes it all away with beautifully serene instrumentation.
Father of the Bride offers an introspective, self-reflective side to Ezra and the result is an album that’s much more accessible to the feelings than previous efforts. The lyricism offers real life experiences that weren’t present on the first three records, and that paired with the traditionally eclectic instrumentation makes it so much easier to fall in love with. Not gonna lie, we’re so happy to have Vampire Weekend back in our lives.