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Album Review: “Harmony Hall / 2021” leads Vampire Weekend’s return

Vampire Weekend perform at Governor’s Ball 2014. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Popular indie rock band Vampire Weekend recently premiered new music for the first time since 2013. Released on Jan. 24, the two teaser tracks, titled “Harmony Hall / 2021” lasts roughly seven minutes.

The first song in the compilation, “Harmony Hall,” leads into more of a folk direction.

The melody elicits the reminiscence of a cross-country road trip with friends to camp out seaside.

For its chorus, the song borrows the lyric “I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die,” from the end of previous song “Finger Back” of their most recent album, “Modern Vampires of the City.” The chorus also mentions “wicked snakes,” a possible reference to the album cover of the EP, which features a coiled green snake before a white background. This pensive tune manages to stay light and upbeat throughout the song.

The lyric video for “Harmony Hall” features continuous shots of various insects interacting with each other and nature-themed objects such as leaves amidst a serene white background. Each shot and transition is perfectly paced with the beats of the song.

“2021,” the introspective second half of the EP, plays for just under two minutes.

With few lyrics and an elementary approach to its beat, the song showcases the more minimalistic side of Vampire Weekend. Frontman Ezra Koenig enlists the help of 43-year-old songwriter Jenny Lewis. This music video is similar to the former, but follows a single frog throughout a white background.

Fans will be pleased to hear that the band will release more songs on a regular basis, leading up to the album’s due date. Via an Instagram post, Koenig revealed that there would be continuous two-song releases.

Koenig also announced an upcoming tour under the same name. The band begins the first part of its next North American tour this June, with early Ohio stops on June 14 and 15 in Cleveland and Cincinnati, respectively. Sales through Ticketmaster begin on Friday.

 

Rating: 4/5

One comment

  1. Cool thanks for clearing that up! The “Finger Back” barrowed lyric on the chorus for “Harmony Hall”. I actually just noticed it a little bit ago while listening to “Harmony hall” and realized I’d heard it before but differently and it was really bugggin me. I was like “Whoa, wait a second!!!!” and got way too excited about it. I knew I’d heard it twice but couldn’t place it so…thanks lol. I love Vampire Weekend and their ability to make such a simple line feel profound and with such style. Such an original band I wish I could thank them for makin’ me feel good every time I listen to their songs.

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