At #7 on our writers’ favourite albums of the year, we have Vampire Weekend’s first album since 2013, Father of the Bride. This was the bands first record since a change in line up and included collaboration with a wide range of musicians, from Danielle Haim to Steve Lacey. Deputy Editor Theo Smith’s review describes it as a “colourful collection of songs” that pushes their typical sound to greater heights. Father of the Bride was met with critical and commercial acclaim, earning the band a spot in the charts and a few Grammy nominations.
‘Hold You Now’ is a chilled-out album opener that sets the tone and builds up to the increasingly experimental tone that we hear in Father of the Bride. It’s also one of the duets with Danielle Haim, opening the collaborative nature of this record. Although most of the tracks on this album are short, they are of a high quality that shows musical and lyrical precision from Vampire Weekend. Every musical element has been thought through and shows a new dimension to the band’s sound, especially in the longer ‘Harmony Hall’.
This developed sound takes on a life of its own in Father of the Bride, growing and shifting from track to track. Their collaboration with Steve Lacy uses guitars in a new, funk-inspired way, a long way from the band’s indie punk origins. Vampire Weekend have shown a musical growth that not many bands can boast about in Father of the Bride.
Ending on another quieter moment with ‘Jerusalem, New York, Berlin’, Vampire Weekend bring their 18-song album to a close. There’s no doubt that Father of the Bride deserves to be remembered as one of the best albums of 2019; from their sonic evolution to their gorgeous songwriting, Vampire Weekend have stood out as a band this year, and no doubt tj=he incoming decade will only bring us more great music.
Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride is available via Columbia Records.