Vampire Weekend, who are currently touring all over the place in support of their new album ‘Modern Vampire of the City,’ have to their name three of the better albums released over the past five years. Each album has been an evolution over their previous work, but the latest effort reveals the biggest creative leap. 'Modern Vampires' is introspective and somber – and as far from ‘A-Punk,’ their huge commercial hit from 2008, as they could get. But 'Step' might be their best pop song yet. Where does it rank on our top five Vampire Weekend songs? Read on. Listen on.
If this were wintertime, we might have put ‘Ya Hey’ here. But it’s the summer, and this delicate feather of a song off ‘Contra’ encapsulates the fleeting beauty of the season, even though the song is, you know, about the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
4. ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’
Again, this may be the summer influence talking, but wouldn’t this song, off of Vampire Weekend’s debut album, serve as the perfect soundtrack for a drink on the deck of a beach house?
3. ‘Hannah Hunt’
Off ‘Modern Vampires of the City,’ Hannah Hunt is a sad one. Ezra Koenig sings about “no future” and “no answer,” and about tearing up The New York Times. The New York Times! Oh, the humanity.
If you’ve never heard of Vampire Weekend, this is about as hooky an intro as you could get. But chances are you’ve seen the commercial for the HP Photosmart Premium printer a few (thousand) times and you're sick of the five-chord guitar hook. But that shouldn’t detract from the fact that ‘A-Punk’ is damn fine crafted pop song. Set it aside for a few years and see.
First, this song, off of ‘Modern Vampire of the City,’ was influenced by Souls of Mischief. Second, Angkor Wat, Mechanicsburg, and Dar es Salaam are referenced in the first two lines of the first verse. The song is simple. The message is simple. It’s the type of song that seems manifested out of thin air instead of written. It’s the type of song that will last and last.