by Sean May
Over the course of two LPs, NYC-based quartet Vampire Weekend have carved out a unique niche for themselves in the indie scene. Pulling heavily from Paul Simon’s post-Graceland output, they bring a sort of world music meets Cape Cod feel that has proven successful on their eponymous 2008 album and the 2010 follow-up Contra. The band, lead by lead by guitarist/vocalist Ezra Koenig and multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij, is preparing to release their third album, Modern Vampires of The City, is set to release on May 6th.
The album, thought to be in the works more or less immediately after the release of Contra, was announced in a strange way, via a classified ad in the New York Times. On February 4th, the band’s Twitter account tweeted “NYT Classifieds…”. Vigilant fans that followed the band’s advice scoured the paper’s classified ads until they came across an odd listing in the Lost & Found section.
Not a whole lot is known about the album right now, and the rumor spread by Koenig himself that the album would be based on romantic comedies like The Love Guru and Bride Wars has been refuted by the band’s bassist, Chris Baio.
Unlike the band’s previous two albums, which were produced by Batmanglij, Modern Vampires of The City is being co-produced by Ariel Rechtshaid. Rechtshaid is a bit of a wild card in terms of producing, as he’s handled albums by indie acts such as Cass McCombs and Foreign Born, but he’s also produced megahits for pop artists like Plain White T’s and No Doubt. It’s a little unclear how much Rechtshaid will affect the sound of the album, and Batmanglij is still going to be handling some aspects of the production, but don’t be surprised if the third album has at least one or two radio-ready hits.
The band has released the following track listing for the album:
1. Obvious Bicycle
4. Diane Young
5. Don’t Lie
6. Hannah Hunt
7. Everlasting Arms
8. Finger Back
9. Worship You
10. Ya Hey
12. Young Lion
Out of those twelve tracks, only two have been played live: Unbelievers and Everlasting Arms (previously believed to be titled just “Arms”), and out of those two, only “Unbelievers” is readily available online.
Despite the joking descriptions of its content and the presence of a more mainstream friendly producer in the room, I have no doubt that Vampire Weekend will deliver another stunning LP with Modern Vampires of The City. The early impressions of the few songs they’ve played live have been positive, and the growth the band exhibited between their first and second LPs, so I have nothing but the highest hopes when the album hits the streets in May.
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