Modern Vampires of the City is the third studio album from VAMPIRE WEEKEND, and it’s finally here on May 14th. Following the band’s second album, Contra (2010), the boys toured and began writing new material during the sound checks. Once the tour was over they took a well deserved rest and even pursued some personal music projects of their own. Eventually they regrouped and began work on the new album in 2011. They had no deadline in mind this time, and for the first time they brought in an outside record producer, Ariel Rechtshaid, to help take them outside of their comfort zone and see what new kinds of magic they could come up with together.
The album was recorded in various locations, including New York, Los Angeles, Martha’s Vineyard and a few different apartments. The most experimental of their albums, Modern Vampires of the City uses a variety of unconventional recording assets including “pitch shifting”. In their glowing review of the album, Pretty Much Amazing writes: “Lyrically, this album covers the heavy stuff — age, time, life, death and religion. As a consequence, it will undeniably be pinned as the ‘mature’ VAMPIRE WEEKEND album, in which the band ‘grows up.’ It’s hard to argue with these inevitable points — ‘MVOTC’ seems intentionally crafted to invite them. But we can’t forget that this band has always had a knack for balancing emotion with light-heartedness, dating all the way back to the distant longing of ‘Campus’ and reflective nostalgia of ‘M79’ on their debut. Koenig recently told Pitchfork that ‘the perfect tone is halfway between deeply serious and totally fucking around,’ and by those standards, the band’s tone has been perfect for three albums and counting.”
I listened to Modern Vampires of the City this morning from back-to-back and it’s pushing all the right buttons in all the right ways. There’s no other band quite like VAMPIRE WEEKEND, and after listening to Modern Vampires Of The City you might just be inspired to run outside your door and suck the life blood out of the modern world — in a carpe diem kind of way. You can stream the album in full and pre-order it as well by visiting VAMPIREWEEKEND.com. As a footnote, the album’s cover is a dystopianesque shot of a fog-shrouded New York City, taken by New York Times photographer Neal Boenzi looking south from the Empire State Building in November 1966. While New York’s smog problem was subsequently resolved, the world’s air has grown more polluted, which led the band to believe the image perhaps rendered “some kind of future.” VAMPIRE WEEKEND have dedicated Modern Vampires of the City as a love letter to New York City.