The wait is finally (almost) over. Vampire Weekend announced on January 24 that their highly anticipated fourth studio album Father of The Bride (a title!) will be released in April or May (an almost-date!). Even more exciting, the group has released the first singles with “2021” and “Harmony Hall.” We needed these ray of sunshine songs more than ever as we enter the hollow depths of winter. Ugh.
Vampire Weekend previewed the new songs on Tuesday with a two-hour video of a guitar loop from “Harmony Hall,” giving the track the self-explanatory title “120 Minutes of Harmony Hall Guitars.”
Uploading the song in full on Thursday, lead singer Ezra Koenig continues his skill of delivering serious and introspective lyrics set to bright and boppy musical arrangements. The cinematic and summery song was written and produced by Koenig and Ariel Rechtshaid, with former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij returning to help with production.
Giving fans an idea of the wide range of sounds that will make up Father of The Bride, the group contrasted the five-minute breezy “Harmony Hall” with “2021,” an electronic-based song with eight lines and less than two minutes of run time, with the musical arrangement based around a sample from Haruomi Hosono.
Koenig spoke with Matt Wilkinson of Beats 1 Apple Music this week about the new album, the group’s first since 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City. Confirming that Father of The Bride will arrive this spring, Koenig said the new album will have 18 songs for a total run time of 59 minutes. The band is also planning on releasing songs in pairs as a lead up to the full album drop.
Talking about “Harmony Hall,” Koenig said, “We’ve been working on these songs forever, so these songs have very, very deep roots that go way beyond the past year or two. I also felt like that was a cool first phrase to hear from the record. ‘We took a vow in summertime, now we find ourselves in late December.'”
“It had a certain resonance for me as someone who’s taken six years between records,” he continued. “There was something about taking a vow in summertime and now it’s the end of the year, that there was like a feeling I related to.”
As for the new album, Koenig confirms that there will be a few featured artists, but has yet to confirm anyone other than Steve Lacy. “It’s like the features are people who are really part of the fabric of the record, you know, not just like dipping in for a song and, you know, emailing the vocals kind of vibe. It’s like, they were really there and part of the community.”