Vampire Weekend Switches It Up on Third Album

By Weber, Paul J | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

Vampire Weekend Switches It Up on Third Album


Weber, Paul J, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


AUSTIN, Texas * The guys in Vampire Weekend changed how they wrote songs, how they record and what an album of theirs even looks like the cover for "Modern Vampires of the City" is not another artsy old Polaroid, but a 1966 black-and-white photo of a smoggy New York skyline.

None of which will change some minds.

"There's certainly going to be people who listen to this album and say, 'Wow, more of the same from Vampire Weekend. I knew I hated these ... college boys,'" frontman Ezra Koenig said.

Those ranks are thinning. Blowing off Vampire Weekend as smirking, preppy Ivy Leaguers too quaint and precious for their own good is a position becoming tougher to defend. Now it's their eye- rolling critics who risk not being taken seriously.

"Modern Vampires of the City," the New York quartet's third album and the follow-up to the 2010 smash "Contra, is its best to date. Band members call the album, released Tuesday, the completion of a trilogy, and it will likely crumble whatever mass-appeal barriers are left.

"I wanted us to embrace our identity in a way. I wasn't afraid of sounding like we had before in some ways, because I think there was an opportunity to go deeper than we ever had before," guitarist and keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij said.

"Modern Vampires" is still a distinctively Vampire Weekend album: harpsichords, gospel pianos, Jamaican influences are liberally applied. …

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