The cover of Vampire Weekend’s third album, Modern Vampires Of The City, is a photo of New York City smog in 1966. In an interview with Pitchfork, guitarist/pianist Rostam Batmanglij related the image to our current environmental problems asking, “What does this say about the future? Where are we going?”
Which begs the question: where is Vampire Weekend’s sound going, for that matter? On their latest release, the New York indie rock quartet molds an eclectic masterpiece with styles and influences from around the world. The band branches off from their ska and African inspired roots with Asian flutes on the energetic, organ filled “Unbelievers” and jumpy tribal mandolins on “Worship You”. They steer back to America with “Sarah Hunt”, an E major ballad that is heavily inspired by The Walkmen, idols of Vampire Weekend while they were students at Columbia University.
Compared to their self-titled debut and follow-up Contra, Modern Vampires Of The City explores more genres and has a more palatial sound, perhaps due to the fact that production duties were handled by Batmanglij (who produced the band’s first two releases) and Ariel Rechtshaid (who’s worked with a range of musicians, including Cass McCombs, Plain White T’s, and Usher).
No matter how different Vampire Weekend’s sound is from one album to the next, they always stay energetic and upbeat. Of their three releases, Modern Vampires Of The City is the most experimental and the most sophisticated.
- Eli Zeger
YOU’VE GOT MALE: WRONG ANSWER
My second OK Cupid date. Again, I arrive first at the bar. As I wait for Avi, I engage in some light flirting with the handsome Palestinian bartender. Dark hair, dark eyes. Copper skin, a manly, crooked dimple in his chin. He’s leaning over the bar and I can see his arm muscles bulging through his t-shirt sleeve. Nice.
It’s been about twenty minutes of this and dicking around on my phone, when Avi walks in. Young looking, average height, blonde hair. Even though he’s in a sweater and jeans, he gives the impression of a boy wearing his father’s suit. Mutual Hello! Friendly hug, jacket off, sits down on the barstool next to me. We start to chat. That slightly elevated small talk of a first date, where you can ask slightly deeper questions. And apparently, deeper answers, so I get a brief life story:
“I left home when I was 14. My parents were strict orthodox Jews. So I moved in with my uncle who let me sleep on his couch. Started working. I used to run a tech company that I started. Working 17-20 hour days for…years. Now I work for a different tech company.”
He says he doesn’t think he’ll be much help at trivia. Already, I have a bad feeling about this.
Lana Del Rey does full-on old Hollywood glamour (mixed with a bit of ’60s Nancy Sinatra, of course) with help from an orchestra in the new video for “Young and Beautiful” her track off The Great Gatsby soundtrack. Will you be seeing Gatsby this weekend?
Watch Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ new video for Mosquito title track, our favorite song off the new record. It’s super strange and awesome.
Monomania, the sixth album from art punk artisans Deerhunter, is what it would sound like if My Bloody Valentine lent their Boss pedals and temperamental vibes to The Byrds. Unlike their drum machine and saxophone experiments on 2010’s Halcyon Digest, Monomania is all about dirty riffs and lead singer Bradford Cox’s raw swagger.
While the track “Leather Jacket II” has the musty aroma of trashed Levi’s fresh from the Salvation Army, Deerhunter gets rootsy on the country jig “Pensacola” and the bluesy “Dream Captain”. On the album’s title track, Cox rages over gritty guitar lines and booming drums.
Key Tracks: “T.H.M.”, “Sleepwalking, “Monomania”
- Eli Zeger