Song of the Day #2,316: ‘Obvious Bicycle’ – Vampire Weekend

vampire_weekend_step

Best Albums of the 10s So Far

#4 – Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

Yesterday I wrote about artists who kick off their careers with five or six amazing albums and earn a place in my personal pantheon.

Vampire Weekend haven’t been around long enough to meet that criteria just yet, but based on the three albums they’ve released so far, they are well on their way.

I already included Contra, the band’s 2010 sophomore effort, on this list. And here at #4 is their third and best record, Modern Vampires of the City.

I have every reason to expect that their next album will land on the next iteration of this list, however many years from now it’s released.

Some listeners dismissed Vampire Weekend’s debut as a hipster Graceland. I never shared that perspective, even though a hipster Graceland is a perfectly fine goal in its own right. But those naysayers would have to admit that the band has reached another level — and fully owned its own voice — on Modern Vampires of the City.

Lead singer/lyricist Ezra Koenig and studio mastermind Rostam Batmanglij have produced one of the most beautiful albums I’ve heard in years, making offbeat instrumental choices and playing delightful games with rhythm and melody. Every song is a sonic adventure.

Through alt-pop headbangers and solemn chamber pop dirges, this album is not just heard but experienced. And in ‘Hannah Hunt,’ the band delivers a modern-day ‘America’ (nodding to a different period of Paul Simon’s career), one of my favorite songs of the decade so far (uh oh… is that another list?).

[Verse 1]
Morning’s come, you’ve watched the red sun rise
The LED still flickers in your eyes
Oh you ought to spare your face the razor
Because no one’s gonna spare their time for you
No one’s gonna watch you as you go
From a house you didn’t build and can’t control
Oh you ought to spare your face the razor
Because no one’s gonna spare their time for you
You ought to spare the world your labor
It’s been twenty years and no one’s told the truth

[Hook x2]
So listen, oh
So listen, oh
Don’t wait
Don’t wait

[Verse 2]
So keep that list of who to thank in mind
And don’t forget the rich ones who were kind
Oh you ought to spare your face the razor
Because no one’s gonna spare their time for you
Why don’t you spare their world a traitor
Take your wager back and leave before you lose

[Hook]

[Bridge]
So while the sun’s coming out
Cover ground, cover ground
And if you find some love for these clowns
Turn around, turn around
I’ll be half asleep on the floor of a high school gym
Thinking of you and wondering if anyone else could begin

[Pre-Hook]
To listen
Listen
Don’t wait
Don’t wait

[Hook]

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,316: ‘Obvious Bicycle’ – Vampire Weekend

  1. Dana says:

    Agree with all you’ve said. Fabulous album.

  2. Maddie says:

    Ditto. Go Vamp Weekend!! 🙂

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