Vampire Weekend‘s new album, Father of the Bride, comes out on May 3. So fittingly, the time for teasers and pre-releases draws to an end. But before then, the band have decided to release a jumbo-sized teasing dish with two distinct entrees: “This Life” and “Unbearably White.” They sound drastically different and only build the anticipation for the new LP.
“This Life” is sweet and springy; it’s the early morning dew on freshly cut grass. Ezra Koenig‘s feathery voice sticks on top of the finger-snapping production that’s saccharine enough to make your face crease into a genuine smile. But its lyrics portray a darker story. He sings about the drums of war and even turns his head to the sky to say, “Oh Christ, am I good for nothing?” The song lulls you into a fall sense of upbeat security before revealing its bloody palms. Pitchfork points out that it also interpolates iLoveMakonnen’s lyrics from “Tonight” with its refrain of “You’ve been cheatin’ on, cheatin’ on me / I’ve been cheatin’ on, cheatin’ on you.”
“Unbearably White” is mellower, grayer music. “There’s an avalanche coming,” Koenig sings somberly. “Don’t cover your eyes.” It’s anxiety-inducing as it moves slower and shifts the needle ever closer to breakup music. But while it is slow and tender, there’s some life in its percussive backend that makes it breathe. In this instance, mellow is better.
These two singles follow the previously released tunes “Harmony Hall,” “2021,” “Sunflower,” and “Big Blue.” Last month, the Jonah Hill-directed video for “Sunflower” was released and featured Koenig and the Internet’s Steve Lacy strolling around New York’s Upper West Side.
Listen to the two new songs up above.