Indie rockers Vampire Weekend are back from a five-year hiatus with their fourth studio album, Father of the Bride, which is set for release on May 3rd via Columbia Records. Known for their experimental indie soundscapes, the NYC-based trio shot to success in 2008 and have ridden a wave of success with their signature indie rock sound. However, Father of the Bride features more country-folk songwriting than their usual alternative palate.
The record opens with the eerie track, “Hold You Now”, which is made up of dialogue. The song illustrates a wedding scene, only the lyrics are melancholic and dragged out. Seemingly on purpose, the track skips and a choir pipes up, with the high pitched tone that you would imagine walking into a church. Although unlike a light-hearted wedding choir, this ensemble sounds more like a funeral procession. This poetic diligence symbolizes the feeling of impending doom in a relationship where lead vocalist, Ezra Koenig sings, “I can’t hold you forever, but I can hold you now”.
From one toxic relationship to the next, “This Life” chimes in with a happy-go-lucky vibe that dances into a chorus of “I’ve been, I’ve been, cheating on you, you’ve been, you’ve been cheating on me”. The stutter in the chorus marks a signal of disbelief but also makes the line rhythmically satisfiable. The starkness of the contrast between emotion is almost comical.
“Big Blue” was released from the record in January of this year. The track comes in short at 1.48, although Vampire Weekend fit in a lot during that time. “Big Blue” simulates a feeling of being alone, “hurt and in need of affection”. Finding solitude with this feeling, a vulnerability is put forward with “ I was tired and couldn’t go home, you offered protection’. The official audio video released shows a goldfish, a group of tropical fish, a worm on a hook and a big, predatory fish. These aquatic creatures demonstrate an intertwining of identity, while being of the same species the fish are very different, although they both share the same appetite. Koenig’s songwriting has always relied on philosophical topics, which is certainly implied here in ‘Big Blue’. The album artwork also holds up this theory with the words “Father of the Bride” circling around an image of the globe.
Vampire Weekend will tour in support of Father of The Bride, including Toronto on June 5th.