Vampire Weekend is Back with “Capricorn” and “Gen-X Cops”

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For a long time, I deliberately avoided Vampire Weekend.

I had my reasons, unfair as they were. From a distance, they seemed like the incarnation of every dream that went to East Nashville to die. They were a group of young Ivy League white guys with big shirts and no record label, cool because a few edgy blogs on the internet said so. They became an archetype for a generation of hipsters, reared by New York City rent prices and obscure classic literature. I hadn’t even heard their music, but I knew it would sound like it was coming from a garage power outlet.

Not to mention the name Vampire Weekend. A bit too close to Imagine Dragons, if you ask me.

I said my reasons were unfair.

But all’s well that ends well. A few summers ago, on a drive through northern California, our car dropped out of range of cell service. We were forced to resort to the albums our friend had downloaded. One of these was Father of the Bride. Within the hour, I was a believer, and not in the way Imagine Dragons sings about.

Since then, I’ve been waiting for their next thing, and slowly learning that they’re basically the George R.R. Martin of the indie music world. Their last two albums were released six years apart from each other, and their members all work on a bunch of other things. Their most recent album, the aforementioned masterpiece Father of the Bride, came out in 2019, which for some reason sounds recent – until you realize that was five years ago.

But the hour is finally here. Only God Was Above Us will be out on April 5th 2024, and last week marked the beginning of the album cycle, starting with two singles, “Capricorn” and “Gen X Cops.”

The songs are vintage Vampire Weekend. They sound like they were tracked live, the parts all simple enough to nail in one pass but with all the delicious feel of a band that’s been playing together for years.

In “Capricorn,” the drums and bass groove along at a leisurely pace while frontman Ezra Koenig strums an acoustic and existentially muses. In surf-rocky “Gen X Cops,” they pick up the energy with an electric guitar streaking like a lightning bolt (while Ezra Koenig continues to existentially muse, of course). “Capricorn” contains a beautiful piano break; “Gen X Cops” has a soaring chorus highlighted with shiny vocals and a killer punchline.

The songs fit together flawlessly like a good-cop/bad-cop routine, showing the full and complex spectrum for which Vampire Weekend is known and beloved. And as much as five-years-ago me would’ve looked for it, there’s not an ounce of pretentiousness among them.

But you don’t need any more convincing. Go listen to them and experience the brilliance for yourself.

The post Vampire Weekend is Back with “Capricorn” and “Gen-X Cops” appeared first on Two Story Melody.

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