Was someone dumb enough to allow Vampire Weekend to name their third album Modern Vampires of the City? Yes.
But the idiot made amends by offering them three years of creative space between albums. Maybe Koenig ends the final track with the best piece of advice he ever received: “You take your time, young lion.”
There are hits – “Diane Young” and “Unbelievers” – tunes that won’t disappoint radio. But around track five, away from the record label, the album soars. “Ya Hey” is one of the best songs of the year, telling the story of a lover who lives as a God. Koening is desperate for understanding -or is it attention? “Who could ever live that way?” His voice suggests hidden pity: If you thought creation had it hard, imagine how a God feels.
This is strong stuff. Vampire Weekend is sticking around. Name the next one whatever you want.
Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend was released on May 14th.