The six-year wait since Modern Vampires of the City has certainly been worth it.
Given that Vampire Weekend’s first three albums came in relatively quick succession, it’s been a rather long wait for fans in the lead up to their fourth album.
Father of the Bride arrives a full six years after 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City and when you haven’t put a foot wrong with the first three records, the pressure placed upon a long-awaited release can reach fever-pitch.
To say that Vampire Weekend have lived up to the high standards they’ve set themselves would be a disservice to Father of the Bride. Make no mistake, this a top quality album. Ezra Koenig’s vocals just get better and better while his lyrical prowess shows a songwriter at the top of his game. Despite possessing the vocal capability to be the band’s calling card on its own, three songs feature HAIM’s Danielle Haim, the catchiest being the ever sweet ‘We Belong Together’. The Internet’s guitarist Steve Lacy also pops up on two songs, most prominently on the earworm of a single ‘Sunflower’.
There are many styles and influences at play on Father of the Bride and, in many ways, the country twangs, indie-pop sensibilities and soulful crooning feel like they have no right to mesh together, though they always result in terrific music. The drawling vocals and playful guitars of ‘How Long?’ and the waxing lyrics of ‘This Life’ are among the album’s plethora of highlights.
At 18 tracks and clocking in at just under an hour, Father of the Bride could easily be at risk of feeling bloated, but it just allows for more great tunes and experimentation to be given the light of day. The New York City outfit are in top form and show no signs of slowing.