Vampire Weekend have dropped two new promotional singles for their forthcoming album Father of the Bride, “Sunflower,” and “Big Blue,” which features support of Steve Lacy from the Internet. Father of the Bride is set to be the band’s fourth studio album, following a nearly six year absence after their 2013 release Modern Vampires of the City.
“Sunflower” is an upbeat track, featuring Lacy’s signature guitar work, with excellent chord progressions, and catchy hooks that create a pleasurable listening experience. Ezra Koenig’s vocals also create an air of positivity, as the track veers from lyrics to ad libs such as “daba daba dee,” throughout its latter half.
While “Big Blue,” is optimistic, the song is less playful than the previous track, and offers a bit more introspection throughout its entirety. Synth lines, vocal overlays and various other production techniques from Ariel Rechtshaid, Koenig and DJ Dahi give the track an otherworldly feel.
Father of the Bride will also be the first album without prominent band member Rostam Batmanglij, who departed the band on good terms back in 2016. This led the remaining band members curious about the band’s new direction, which inspired Koenig’s decision to pursue this latest album project with further collaborators such as Lacy and DJ Dahi.
“To go from collaborating with somebody to doing stuff by yourself would be insane,” Koenig explained in an interview with Rolling Stone. “But that’s not the case. I’m continuing to have the exact same role that I’ve always had in the band: songwriting and vibe direction. So it wasn’t a very difficult transition for me.”
Koenig also dismisses the notion that “rock is dead,” which he explains is fatal for the genre moving forward. He explains that it is up to musicians to seek new ways to change the genre themselves.
“I know a lot of people in bands who have this fatalistic vibe, like, ‘Oh, no, rock’s dead, nobody cares,’” he explained further in the interview. “So what are you going to do about it? Either quit, or figure out a way to be excited about it. I’ve probably played more guitar in the past few years than I have in my entire life.”
In January the band announced the new album, and released two songs entitled “Harmony Hall,” and “2021,” in anticipation for the upcoming album release. This received a large amount of anticipation for the band, as their previous release occurred over five years ago.
“Time in between albums adds up in a really insane way. It suddenly becomes five years in the blink of an eye,” Koenig explained in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “Vampire Weekend was never far from my mind and I never went more than a month without actually going to the studio and doing some work. I’ve been working on [the album] full-time for just about two years — which feels crazy, but that’s how long it takes.”
The band will be hosting a tours this summer to support Father of the Bride.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat