Song of the Day #3,867: ‘Harmony Hall’ – Vampire Weekend

Yes, queen! New music from Vampire Weekend! What a lovely and welcome surprise. It’s been six years since the band’s last album, Modern Vampires of the City, which topped my list of the best albums of 2013. That’s a friggin’ lifetime.

Last week the band dropped two tracks from their upcoming album, Father of the Bride. Both are unmistakably Vampire Weekend, which is a relief given the departure of key member Rostam Batmanglij.

‘Harmony Hall’ is the better of the two songs, and it’s a thing of beauty. It kicks off with an acoustic guitar part straight outta the Grateful Dead, then brings in the notes of Paul Simon the band has always favored. It features a sublime instrumental bridge with piano work reminiscent of The Beatles’ ‘In My Life.’

In other words, like all great Vampire Weekend songs, it sounds like a Hall of Fame lineup of influences thrown into a blender to swirl into something entirely their own.

[Verse 1]
We took a vow in summertime
Now we find ourselves in late December
I believe that New Year’s Eve
Will be the perfect time for their great surrender
But they don’t remember

[Pre-Chorus]
Anger wants a voice, voices wanna sing
Singers harmonize ’til they can’t hear anything
I thought that I was free from all that questionin’
But every time a problem ends, another one begins

[Chorus]
And the stone walls of Harmony Hall bear witness
Anybody with a worried mind could never forgive the sight
Of wicked snakes inside a place you thought was dignified
I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die

[Post-Chorus]
Ooh, ooh, ooh
I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die

[Verse 2]
Within the halls of power lies a nervous heart that beats
Like a Young Pretender’s
Beneath these velvet gloves I hide
The shameful, crooked hands of a moneylender
‘Cause I still remember

[Pre-Chorus]
Anger wants a voice, voices wanna sing
Singers harmonize ’til they can’t hear anything
I thought that I was free from all that questionin’
But every time a problem ends, another one begins

[Chorus]
And the stone walls of Harmony Hall bear witness
Anybody with a worried mind could never forgive the sight
Of wicked snakes inside a place you thought was dignified
I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die

[Post-Chorus]
Ooh, ooh, ooh
I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die

[Instrumental Bridge]

[Chorus]
And the stone walls of Harmony Hall bear witness
Anybody with a worried mind could never forgive the sight
Of wicked snakes inside a place you thought was dignified
I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die

[Post-Chorus]
Ooh, ooh, ooh
I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die

[Chorus]
And the stone walls of Harmony Hall bear witness
Anybody with a worried mind could never forgive the sight
Of wicked snakes inside a place you thought was dignified
I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,867: ‘Harmony Hall’ – Vampire Weekend

  1. Maddie says:

    Big fan of this song and very excited for new Vampire Weekend songs! 🙂

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    On first listen, this has a less edgy, more commercial pop sound than previous VW songs, which may suggest that Rostam was responsible for the more edgy, less commercial songwriting- much like Lennon was in the Beatles or Page was in Bare Naked Ladies. If that is the case, then the new album may be very good, but not quite as good as the earlier records.

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