Let me say at the very beginning that I am a huge fan of Vampire Weekend.
Let me have it. Hipster, pretentious, whiny white boy rock lover, I have heard it all. Recently one of my favorite writers flat out crushed the band and all of their fans. The comments in the article are even more cutting.
The hipster act of criticizing other hipsters is in full force with Vampire Weekend. I lived through it with Beck, Radiohead, and Arcade Fire. I am ready to live through it when my family, friends, and readers, want to tweak me about my love for a band called Vampire Weekend and their 21st century version of whiny white boy rock. I will not apologize. I loved their first three albums, I am sure their fourth one will be just as good.
Here is the thing, I predictably really like “Father of the Bride”. As long as the band keeps putting out songs like “Oxford Comma”, “M79”, “Giving Up the Gun”, and everything on “Modern Vampires of the City” I was going to like “Father of the Bride”. Not only do I like it, I love it. I may be so bold and say that this is Vampire Weekend’s masterpiece.
The album starts of with a strange little song called “Hold You Know”. It is odd, but it has grown on me, and yes it does have a sample of children’s choir singing from the movie “The Thin Red Line”. The next song, “Harmony Hall” has been out for a while now and I believe this is the song that will define Vampire Weekend. It is their “Thunder Road”. From there on the record gets better. The B side of the vinyl, yes I bought “Father of the Bride” on vinyl, is flawless. The unfortunately named “Unbearable White” is a jazzy tune that I love, and I hate jazz. The final song on the B side, “Married in a Gold Rush” is in my opinion the best song on a killer record. It is awesome.
The second record/disc is more experimental, yet still incredible. Songs like “My Mistake” and “2021” feel like the tunes of a different band with a Vampire Weekend flavor. The record ends with the melancholy “Jerusalem, New York, Berlin” a fitting cool down to a great run of music.
I, like many Vampire Weekend fans, was a little concerned that founding member Rostam Batmanglij had left before “Father of the Bride was recorded. Rostam released his solo record “Half-Light” in late 2017 and he was not not going to record any new music with his old band for the time being. He is still listed as a writer and producer on a few songs, so his influence is not completely gone.
I do want to highlight Danielle Haim from the band HAIM. She is featured on a couple of great tracks on “Father of the Bride”. Her duets with front man Ezra Koenig are incredible. She is the number one reason that the opening track is worth listening to, and Haim and Koenig on the aforementioned “Married in a Gold Rush” plus the D side track “We Belong Together” propels the record from good to great.
I was pretty sure I was going to like “Father of the Bride” before I heard the first note. I was also pretty sure the hipster on hipster hate was going to follow the release of the album. I was ready for all of it. Yet being biased towards one of my favorite bands, I was not expecting to like “Father of the Bride” as much as I have. Months ago I downloaded “Harmony Hall”, and I figured that would be the key track. I love that song, and the all of the rest that surround it on the latest from Vampire Weekend.
Final word is that if you love Vampire Weekend, you will love “Father of the Bride”. If you are new to Vampire Weekend, this record will make you a convert. Unless you support hipster on hipster fighting.
RD Kulik is the Head Editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast.
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