Vampire Weekend contains a more mature sound in latest album

photo courtesy of XL Recordings

“Modern Vampires of the City,” Vampire Weekend’s third album, combine the best aspects of their previous work and new sophistication.

Megan Pohle, Staff Writer

After three years, Vampire Weekend is back with their third record, “Modern Vampires of the City.” These four Columbia University graduates don’t disappoint fans, providing both the dance-rock hits they are known for, as well as more mature tracks that highlight the bands growth. “Modern Vampires of the City” has come just in time for summer and is sure to become any rock fan’s summer anthem.

While the band’s previous album, “Contra,” consisted of various carefree, indie-pop tracks, “Modern Vampires of the City” gravitates towards a more serious side. Lead singer, Ezra Koenig’s lyrics have more depth, as each song is cloaked with message. The album also consists of the summer dance hits, such as the controlled chaos that is “Diane Young.” Koenig bounces through different pitched “baby’s,” even experimenting with synthed vocals.

A similarly upbeat track on the record is “Unbelievers,” that follows a clap happy guitar chorus accompanying a simple drum beat. As the keyboards kick in, the song soon comes to rely on them as Koenig’s carefree and transparently pitched vocals follow along. The usage of keyboards throughout the record is noticeable, as previous Vampire Weekend albums consisted mainly of guitar based tracks. For instance, this record features the song“Young Lion,” which begins with a simple piano beat that continues throughout the song, creating a meanderingly sweet track.

The song, “Step,” is a highlight of the album, existing as a prime example of Vampire Weekend’s maturity. One reason for this is the lyrics that accompany the emotionally sweet tune. “Wisdom’s a gift, but you’d trade it for youth/ Age is an honour- it’s still not the truth,” Koenig’s voice echoes over the bridge of the track. “Step” contains a post-apocalyptic beat, while incorporating a tunnel-like quality that’s hard to define.

courtesy of Imagem Music

“Ya Hey” also encompasses this futuristic, yet mature sound, containing echoing vocals with a chorus of “ya hey’s” that pierce the music with a welcoming force. The band has truly mastered the task of incorporating a deeper meaning, while maintaining a clever beat. “Ya Hey” brings everything full circle as Koenig’s melodic vocals embrace the implications of the song.

Another more serious song is “Hannah Hunt.” This track expresses the purity that “Modern Vampires of the City” is, with a sweetly simple beat that highlights Koenig’s vocals, which dominates the song. Finally, a stronger beat kicks in and Koenig’s vocals wail over carefully crafted lyrics, and for a moment the song remains infinitely serene.

The band relates back to their original inspirations in “Everlasting Arms,” as hints of African influences cracks through its surface. The song is shaped by a drum beat that moves along to a melodic beat. “Worship You” also contains a certain aspect of a younger Vampire Weekend, with fast paced lyrics without losing the gained maturity in their sound. This track slides along to a quick beat, with a clever movement into a chorus.

“Modern Vampires of the City” completes Vampire Weekend’s album trilogy in an impressive fashion, containing the best of the old with a more defined and mature sound. While some tracks remain fast paced and and summer-like, others contain an aspect of seriousness, while still keeping the audience entertained. “Modern Vampires of the City” seems to be only a glimpse into the more developed Vampire Weekend, making audiences crave whatever this band will offer next.