Review of “Modern Vampires of the City”!

Hi Everyone! For my post, I’m going to review a recently released album by one of my favorite bands, Vampire Weekend.

Modern Vampires of the City Album Cover

Vampire Weekend formed in the mid-2000s when the four members met at Columbia University. Their earlier albums, Vampire Weekend and Contra, have a distinguishable up-beat, afro-pop sound coupled with witty, intelligent lyrics. They keep their lyrical charm on their newest album Modern Vampires of the City while moving towards a more philosophical, dark sound.

The band’s main lyricist, lead singer Ezra Koenig, does not talk often about his private life but based on his lyrics, it is evident that he has been thinking about religion, aging, and death. One of the album’s more upbeat songs, “Unbelievers”, chronicles Ezra’s inner conflict with God’s imminent punishment through lyrics such as “the fire awaits unbelievers/ all of the sinners the same” and “Is this the fate that half of the world has planned for me?” One of the album’s crowning jewels, “Ya Hey” attempts to wrestle with questions that have Ezra, and many others, stumped: Why is God shrouded in anonymity? Why should God continue to love a country like America that is gradually moving away from Christianity? The chorus of “Ya Hey” draws heavily from Isaiah 43:2-3:

When you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flames shall not consume you, for I am Yahweh your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior

Here is the chorus:

Through the fire and through the flames

You won’t even say your name

Through the fire and through the flames

You won’t even say your name

Only “I Am that I Am”

But who could ever live that way?

The eery, mysterious¬†“Hudson Bay” recounts the death of “Hudson”, while “Everlasting Arms” expresses doubt in God and the human desire to live forever; in this sense, in Heaven. Several others song like “Step” and “Worship You” continue the conversation on these topics.

I would pick a few songs to recommend from this album, but honestly I can’t pick just a few! Modern Vampires is most beautiful and lyrical as a cohesive whole, so I recommend that you listen to the album in it’s entirety.

Do you listen to Vampire Weekend? What do you think of Modern Vampires of the City? Let me know in a comment or on Twitter!


Published by Rachael Kabagabu

Hi everyone! My name is Rachael Kabagabu. I am a junior studying secondary education with a major in French and minor in biology. I am currently involved in Nykerk, Hope College Student Ambassadors, WTHS (Hope radio station), and the Kappa Beta Phi Sorority. My previous activities include Orientation, leading a spring break immersion trip, the Black Student Union, and orchestra. Feel free to message me if you have any questions. Go Hope!

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