Song of the Day #4,189: ‘Everlasting Arms’ – Vampire Weekend

Best Albums of the 2010s – #5
Modern Vampires of the City – Vampire Weekend (2013)

Here we go. This week I will reveal my five favorite albums of the last decade. Three of these appeared on my list of “best albums of the decade so far” back in 2014, though in slightly different order. The other two were released during the past five years.

At #5 is the third album by Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City. This was the band’s final album with multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij in the lineup, and it remains their best work to date.

Though their excellent self-titled debut predated this decade by a couple of years, Vampire Weekend still had an impressive showing. Sophomore album Contra deepened their sound and pushed further into sonic experimentation. This year’s Father of the Bride, driven mostly by frontman Ezra Koenig, is a sprawling, ramshackle delight.

But Modern Vampires of the City is the band’s masterwork. The lyrics, melodies, production and performance all come together on these tracks to form my favorite thing — an album that feels like its own organic creation and not just a collection of songs.

That’s not to say the individual songs aren’t wonderful. ‘Step,’ ‘Hannah Hunt,’ Ya Hey,’ ‘Everlasting Arms’ — just to name a few — all work as both ear candy and brain candy. Put together, they add up to some sort of hipster gothic nirvana.

[Verse 1]
I took your counsel and came to ruin
Leave me to myself, leave me to myself
I took your counsel and came to ruin
Leave me to myself, lead me to myself

[Pre-Chorus]
Oh, I was made to live without you
But I’m never gonna understand, never understand
Oh, I was born to live without you
But I’m never gonna understand, never understand

[Chorus]
Hold me in your everlasting arms
Looked up full of fear, trapped beneath a chandelier
That’s going down

[Verse 2]
I thought it over and drew the curtain
Lead me to my cell, lead me to my cell
I hummed the Dies Irae as you played the Hallelujah
Lead me to my cell, don’t leave me in my cell

[Pre-Chorus]
If you’d been made to serve a master
You’d be frightened by the open hand, frightened by the hand
Could I have been made to serve a master?
Well, I’m never gonna understand, never understand

[Chorus]
Hold me in your everlasting arms
Looked up full of fear, trapped beneath the chandelier
That’s going down
Hold me in your everlasting arms
Looked up full of fear, trapped beneath the chandelier
That’s going down
Hold me in your everlasting arms

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,189: ‘Everlasting Arms’ – Vampire Weekend

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I mentioned last week that the Ben Folds’ album were among a very few I heard cover to cover more than once during the decade. This one is another to hold that distinction. The album’s release also coincided with our trip to Costa Rica, so it served as, and will forever be associated with, that vacation.

  2. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    I too associate this album with my trip to Costa Rica as Dana said. I must’ve listened to the album 20 times on that trip and it is one of the albums I return to most from this decade. The unique production and brave decision to completely abandon their world music sound on their first two albums makes this a definitive step in the evolution of Vampire Weekend. Hannah Hunt and Hudson are probably tied for my favorites on this record but the whole album is top tier and would definitely make my best of the decade list.

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