Vampire Weekend is Back with “Harmony Hall” and “2021”

By: Claudia Siregar |

After years of not releasing any music to the public, Vampire Weekend is finally back! Frontman Ezra Koenig has finally broken out of his long period of musical slumber, after the departure of fellow bandmate and VW co-founder Rostam Batmanglij (ouch). This week, VW teased two songs in preparation for their upcoming album, “Father of the Bride (F.O.T.B)”: “Harmony Hall” and “2021”.

“Harmony Hall” is an upbeat, classic Vampire Weekend track, with bright-sounding production, acoustic guitar tracks dominating the atmosphere, heavy baroque pop influences, and cheerful, carefree beats here and there. Having its title taken from a residence hall in Columbia University of the same name, “Harmony Hall” was co-produced by ex-member Rostam Batmanglij, with the help of Danielle Haim and Dave Longstreth and Greg Leisz on the guitars. Another thing about this track that takes us back to VW’s “Modern Vampires of the City” days is Koenig’s use of the lines “I don’t wanna live like this / but I don’t wanna die” from old VW track “Finger Back.”

Compared to the carefree, happy-go-lucky “Harmony Hall”, “2021” is a rather dreamy-sounding, mellow, awfully short track. The melodious intro reminds us of old VW track (yes, again) “The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance”, yet the rest of the song is nothing like any other VW song we’ve ever heard, with Jenny Lewis’ repetitive “BOY”s in the background, blues rock-influenced guitar riffs accompanying Koenig’s airy, soft vocals, and synth lines from Japanese musician Haruomi Hosono. The song, however, still retains VW’s baroque pop influences – seems like VW hasn’t lost their touch after all, even after a long break.

Overall, Vampire Weekend’s baroque pop-influenced rock sound still dominates the two songs. Yet there’s something about these two songs that scream maturity. VW’s old songs might remind us of growing up and having fears about what’s coming next, yet these two songs picture a very different scenario. Vampire Weekend is back and this time, they’re back as adult men rather than boys.

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