It worries me that Vampire Weekend is taking so long to complete their fourth album.
The last studio effort from the band was Modern Vampires of the City in May of 2013, almost four years ago. That followed a three year gap after Contra, which arrived two years after their eponymous 2008 debut. All signs point to 2017 for new music, but at this rate we may not see album five until 2022!
In spite of the departure of one of the band’s driving creative forces, Rostam Batmanglij, Vampire frontman Ezra Koenig has confirmed that the group is in the studio working on the new album. In fact, it has been hinted that Batmanglij is still contributing to an unspecified degree.
I absolutely loved the first Vampire Weekend album. I was prepared to be disappointed in Contra, but it ended up being a very respectable sophomore effort. Modern Vampires was also strong. But with Batmanglij now part-time at best, can Koenig and the remaining band members maintain that level of excellence? Is it a good sign that the band is taking their time on the new music, or an indication that they may have run out of ideas?
Over the weekend Koenig took to Instagram to offer fans an update on the new album, which has a working title of Mitsubishi Macchiato. Why that title? “Cuz it is a helpful concept.” OK then.
There’s nothing to suggest a tentative release date yet, but it’s gotta be 2017, right? Right?
Here’s Koenig’s Instagram post:
every day I get comments & questions about the next Vampire Weekend album. obviously, we gotta take our time & get it right but the fans deserve some information. I know it feels like it’s been an eternity since the last one but time…is strange. this is what’s been happening:
2013- MVOTC release
2014 – still touring/promoting
2015 – mental health year (putting 3 albums in stores was taxing), worked on a vibey project you’ll hear abt soon
2016- writing LP4, long days in the library researching w/ the grad students
2017 – recording, trying to finish ASAP what else can I tell you without playing myself? hmm, it’s a lil more springtime than the last one. guitar’s not dead. there are songs (currently) called “Conversation” & “Flower Moon.” Flower Moon is hard to finish but I think it belongs on the album. working title is still Mitsubishi Macchiato cuz it is a helpful concept. I should probably stop there cuz all of that information is subject to change & I can’t tell you the really good stuff anyway
He concluded the message with a series of emojis including a pair of pineapples, a fireball, musical notes and moon phases. No Oxford commas to be found.
And then there’s the “artwork” with the post, depicting a computer file folder ostensibly containing the files for the album. Obviously, it is very unlikely the final album art will even remotely resemble this image. Still, that kind of meta approach reminds me of the art from Liz Phair’s last album, Funstyle, back in 2010. And that thing was a mess.
Still, I’m trying to keep the faith that the Vampires will gloriously arise in 2017!