For the first time since the release of their third studio album in 2013, “Modern Vampires of the City“, Vampire Weekend has released its fourth studio album today. Titled ‘Father of the Bride’, the album has 18 tracks and involves contributions from other artists such as iLoveMakonnen, Danielle Haim, and Vampire Weekend ex-member Rostam. Some notable tracks from ‘Father of the Bride’ include “Harmony Hall”, “Sunflower”, “Flower Moon”, and “Unbearably White”. To emphasize, the album’s tracks discussed various topics that are affecting today’s society, ranging from the rise of populist politics to the omnipresence of social media.
In “Harmony Hall”, the song combines country rhythm with surf-rock vibes and classical sounds. In regards to “Sunflower”, the song mixes a slight hip-hop sound with a peculiar riff. The melody of “Flower Moon” resembled a partnership between an autotuned version of The Beach Boys and traditional Soweto music. Likewise, “Unbearably White” provided a liberating melody that covered a complex yet well-crafted song that discussed the abilities of lead singer-guitarist and co-producer, Ezra Koenig, and the rest of the band in a self-deprecating fashion.
Interestingly, ‘Father of the Bride’ incorporated various musical styles in its tracks, which produced comparisons between the album and the Beatles’ White Album (1968) and Abbey Road (1969). The album’s tracks are notable for their rhythmic changes, guitar tones, and instrumental twists. Certainly, ‘Father of the Bride’ is a unique change from the band’s previous sounds in their three previous albums as the music in ‘Father of the Bride’ is more candid and less constrained.
“Father of the Bride” as a whole tells the listeners that although life has its moments of hardships, there are still joyful days ahead as long as they’re confident in themselves and remain hopeful for positive vibes. “Hold You Now” featuring Danielle Haim starts off with Koenig providing a melancholic, country-like tune. Afterwards, the song transitioned into a Polynesian-sounding chorus which later introduced Haim as a bride who’s saying goodbye to her old lover before starting a new life with her new husband.
Similarly, “We Belong Together” incorporate drum and cymbal beats, keyboard composition, and a ditty of lute and flute sounds as it explained that two people may belong together but it doesn’t mean they may stay with one another. Another notable track in the album is “Jerusalem, New York, Berlin”, creates an aria of electronic resonance and piano inflection as it discretely explores Koenig’s Jewish background and recent world history involving the Jewish people. For instance, the track referenced the recent surge in ultranationalism with the verse, “So let them win the battle, but don’t let them restart that genocidal feeling”.
There aren’t many albums today that allow listeners to examine their personal lives, relationships, and world events altogether. Indeed, “Father of the Bride” expresses the real-life issues and concerns that people have every day. For anyone who wants to listen to uplifting music, “Father of the Bride” is an album that will heighten positive feelings. The album’s message is to always see the good in life and shun any form of negativity.