Song of the Day #1,732: ‘Step’ – Vampire Weekend

vampire_weekend_stepI’ve been in a drought when it comes to discovering new music.

Going back a couple of years in my iTunes library, I see a lot of new releases by groups that I’ve followed for ages.

Aimee Mann, Ben Folds, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Ron Sexsmith, Fiona Apple… lots of old favorites. Not a lot of new ones.

My most recent finds are fun., who really struck gold with their album Some Nights, and Kacey Musgraves, whose album I just bought and am already loving. I suspect those are both keepers. But two acts in two years isn’t much to write home about.

So I’m thrilled to see that Vampire Weekend, a band still new enough to feel unexpected, is coming out with a new album in May. These guys are in that honeymoon phase where I know I love them but I don’t feel like I’ve heard their best work yet.

Based on the gorgeous sound of ‘Step,’ the first release from that upcoming album, they might be on the verge of topping themselves. This song gets away from the Graceland influences of their first two records in favor of Pachelbel’s Canon in D. I’ve heard it only once and I love it already.

Every time I see you in the world, you always step to my girl

[Verse 1]
Back back way back I used to front like Angkor Wat
Mechanicsburg Anchorage and Dar es Salaam
While home from New York was champagne and disco tapes from L.A. slash San Francisco
But actually Oakland and not Alameda
Your girl was in Berkeley with her Communist reader
Mine was entombed within boombox and walkman
I was a hoarder but girl that was back then

[Chorus]
The gloves are off, the wisdom teeth are out
What you on about?
I feel it in my bones, I feel it in my bones
I’m stronger now, I’m ready for the house
Such a modest mouse, I can’t do it alone, I can’t do it alone
Every time I see you in the world, you always step to my girl

[Verse 2]
Ancestors told me that their girl was better
She’s richer than Croesus, she’s tougher than leather
I just ignored all the details of a past life
Stale conversation deserves but a bread knife
And punks who would laugh when they saw us together
Well, they didn’t know how to dress for the weather
I can still see them there huddled on Astor
Snow falling slow to the sound of the master

[Chorus]

[Bridge]
Wisdom’s a gift, but you’d trade it for youth
Age is an honor – it’s still not the truth
We saw the stars when they hid from the world
You cursed the sun when it stepped to your girl
Maybe she’s gone and I can’t resurrect her
The truth is she doesn’t need me to protect her
We don’t know the true death, the way of all flesh
Everyone’s dying, but girl – you’re not old yet

[Chorus]

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,732: ‘Step’ – Vampire Weekend

  1. Dana says:

    This is definitely a great band and I too look forward to their new album. Very good first single, though I do love their more playful and world music infused sound from the last album. I hope some of that style sneaks its way into the new one.

  2. Amy says:

    I’m not sure how – or why – they’d top themselves given the amazing two albums they have already released. That said, I love this single, and it certainly increases my excitement about their newest album. I love this band and remember vividly when one of my journalism students reluctantly suggested that we write an article on their first album, though she didn’t truly want to share her discovery with the rest of the student body, lest Vampire Weekend ceased to belong to her. I remember empathizing so vividly with that sensation of discovery and ownership, one that tends to belong to the young. I wonder if she’s still following Vampire Weekend all these years later.

  3. Maddie says:

    I love this single, sounds consistent with their sound and lyrical vibe while still bringing a change. Glad they didn’t pull an Owl City and change for the sake of making hits, I think they are more likely to get further doing what fans love best

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