Vampire Weekend Takes on God (Redux): Part I


When I read Rolling Stone’s review of Vampire Weekend’s new album “Modern Vampires of the City” prior to its release I couldn’t wait to get may hands on it.  About the album Nathan Brackett writes:

“God, of all people, looms large: He is a foil on “Unbelievers,” where Koenig sings about the fundamentalist half of the world wanting to throw him and his lady under the tracks of the train. The sweet “Everlasting Arms” is partly inspired by a 19th-century church song; “Worship You” references Paradise Lost (and Nick Cave). “Ya Hey” (rhymes with “Yahweh” – get it?) retells the Old Testament story of the burning bush, over a dubby groove.”

Being a fan of the past two albums, I was excited to see how this irreverent and whimsical band would deal with the heavier subject matter.  Well, after listening to the album for about a week now, I have to say I’m quite impressed.  “Modern Vampires of the City” is a big step forward for the band both lyrically and musically.

This said, what catches my attention the most is the honest way Ezra Koenig and crew deal with faith.  Because of their transparency themes of grace, law and gospel, mortality, and downright disappointment with God emerge in a piercing way.  It’s these themes that I want to explore in the coming posts starting tomorrow with their single “Unbelievers.”


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