Vampire Weekend’s upcoming album Father of the Bride is undoubtedly one of the year’s most anticipated releases, and the band has just released the lead singles “Harmony Hall” and “2021”.
Harmony Hall starts with two unified guitars playing a jubilant ascending and descending riff. It’s the same riff that was looped for two hours on the perplexing YouTube teaser for the song entitled “120 Minutes of Harmony Hall Guitars”. The guitars stand out gracefully throughout verses, adding an elegant and charming transition into the thick layers of instrumentation throughout the chorus and pre-chorus. The rest of the track is driven by a free-flowing piano groove and frontman Ezra Koeing’s sincere vocals. The song harkens back to Modern Vampire of the City borrowing the lines “I don’t wanna live like this/but I don’t wanna die” that triumphantly close out the song “Finger Back”.
In contrast, “2021” is a stripped back and melancholic reflection of the passing of time. The track is filled with subtle synth chords (sampled from Haruomi Hosono), soft percussion, plucked guitars, and an auto-tuned Jenny Lewis repeating the word “boy” throughout its run time. Although Jenny Lewis’ contribution is limited, both singles present notable collaborators including Danielle Haim and Dirty Projector’s Dave Longstreth. This theme of collaboration is something to be even more excited about as the release date approaches.
We are excited about the new direction the band has decided to take their sound. Ezra Koenig announced last week that two songs would be released in the coming two weeks as well off of the 17 track double LP.