Music Monday: 2013 Recap Part 3 – Vampire Weekend

Modern Vampires of the City Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City begins on a solemn yet sweet-souding note with "Obvious Bicycle." With a sparse percussive heartbeat driving the simple piano chords and not-quite-there strings, the chorus kicks into angelic overdrive asking you to just "listen, ohh." For a song that lends itself to be interpreted as the Millenial Generation's struggle to find work, it is so damn pretty. The next track, "Unbelievers", lifts your spirits into a more chipper mood in the way that Vampire Weekend so often can: thumping drumbeats accompanied by some spiffy guitar strumming. Fans of previous albums will certainly enjoy this tune. The same can be said for  "Step". "Diane Young" was the lead single from the album, debuting a few months beforehand. Some fun vocal-modifying tricks lent this song some George Michael-inspired chorus breakdowns. The title is an obvious play on the words "dying young" and the lyrics are full of some metaphors to that effect. Certainly the most outright pop song on the album, and made the better for it. A fantastic extended performance on "Later with Jools Holland" featuring many of the songs mentioned: Moving ahead to "Everlasting Arms", another sweet-sounding song dealing with seemingly inner turmoil. A struggle of faith seems to be the culprit this time. "Worship You" & "Ya Hey" come a few tracks later, and while all of these songs are clearly playing on some religious verbiage, the latter two don't seem to be quite as on the nose about their respective subjects. The album ends with an almost elegiac coda in "Young Lion." Only 1:45 in length, only one verse is repeated fourfold: "You take your time, young lion." There were plenty of religious words and titles thrown about throughout the album, despite it not being overtly about religious faith, but this track cements the album as the best collection of hymnals that aren't hymnals in a distinctly Vampire Weekend style.