Song of the Day #1,995: ‘Hannah Hunt’ – Vampire Weekend

vampire_weekend_stepBest Songs of 2013 – #1

This is the sixth year-end countdown I’ve done since I started writing Song of the Day posts. The very first was in 2008 and Vampire Weekend reached the #1 spot with the track ‘M79’ off of their debut album.

Five years and two albums later, they’re back on top.

Modern Vampires of the City was my favorite album of the year the day it was released and held that title through seven months and a lot of stiff competition. Nothing else matched it for confidence or creativity; nothing else hit me so hard in both the head and the heart.

My favorite track is ‘Hannah Hunt,’ which struck me right off the bat as a millennial revisiting of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘America.’ While Simon’s disillusioned young lovers counted the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike, these two tear the New York Times into pieces for kindling.

Musical mastermind Rostam Batmanglij, the band member most responsible for Vampire Weekend’s sound, crafts a delicate, almost subliminal, bed for the first half of the song, before opening things up at the 2:45 mark with a quiet explosion of beauty.

Lead singer Ezra Koenig, a gifted vocalist, pulls off the same trick, whispering his way through the early verses before wailing the final chorus. Together, they guide the song through sadness into transcendence.

A gardener told me some plants move
But I could not believe it
Till me and Hannah Hunt
Saw crawling vines and weeping willows
As we made our way from Providence to Phoenix

[Verse 2]
A man of faith said
Hidden eyes could see what I was thinking
I just smiled and told him
That was only true of Hannah
And we glided on through Waverley and Lincoln

[Chorus]
Our days were long our nights no longer
Count the seconds, watching hours
Though we live on the US dollar
You and me, we got our own sense of time

[Verse 3]
In Santa Barbara, Hannah cried
“I miss those freezing beaches”
And I walked into town
To buy some kindling for the fire
Hannah tore the New York Times up into pieces

[Chorus 2] x2
If I can’t trust you then damn it Hannah
There’s no future, there’s no answer
Though we live on the US dollar
You and me, we got our own sense of time

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,995: ‘Hannah Hunt’ – Vampire Weekend

  1. Dana says:

    Well, Maddie guessed it. Actually, she did so during our summer trip to Costa Rica when you last posted from this album and hinted as to he song that would make your year end list. We played the album repeatedly on that trip and I agreed with her that this was the standout song, and likely your selection, from a great album.

    And so, you will get no argument from my family or me on this pick. 🙂

  2. Maddie says:

    Daniel and I both called this one because we also loved this song when we repeated the album ad nauseam on our car rides 😛 Good to see it make the list at number 1 🙂

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