Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City

Modern Vampires of the CityThese guys are funny. They’re kids from Glenrigde, NJ who write kind of pretentious songs in the key of Paul Simon and wear ascots and play house parties full of rich, white kids. Or at least that’s kind of how they’ve been painted — and honestly at times this feels pretty dead on. That said, despite my vague hatred for world music, I’ve been a fan of most of their prior work. They really fit this niche that’s underrepresented: adult music that somehow still feels somewhat hip. Though hip is a really subjective thing, as there has been a return in indie rock music in the last handful of years to the slacker aesthetic of pretending to not really give a shit about what you’re writing. Like putting effort behind your music is for poseurs and sell outs. These guys, though, seem earnest in their craft. Which, by the transitive property of hipsterishness, means that they are so earnest as to go against the grain of not being earnest that they in fact become hip. Basically they are the Weezer of their day. And, yes, I know Weezer is still around, but I’m talking Blue Album / Pinkerton era. This album represents a departure of sorts. It feels way more grown up, for one. And with an adult sense of ones’ self comes retrospection and introspection. Or at least you hope it does. Generally these two things don’t uncover giddiness and positivity, but melancholia and regret. It’s not to say the album is sad and/or overly dramatic, but there is a certain sense of urgency in the songs to outrace a past that is trying to catch them and a future that is escaping them. It certainly doesn’t have the breeziness of some of their older stuff, but the music somehow stretches both wider and deeper, really bringing nuance with each and every listen. I’ve put this thing on repeat and probably heard it five times in a row, which would normally drive me crazy, but it somehow didn’t even feel like it was cycling through the same songs over and over again. I’m just not sure there is another band these days that is less afraid to put their originality out there in this way. They really don’t sound like anyone else and that, in this day and age of samey-samey dance floor hits, is quite refreshing, even if you think snobbiness isn’t something you look for in your music.