• Vampire Weekend
  • Modern Vampires Of The City
  • XL Recordings

New York’s Afro-beat indie-rockers Vampire Weekend are back with their eagerly awaited third record, which has been three years in the making.

The delay since 2010’s Contra, is a result of the band’s Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Tomson and Chris Baio desire to pursue their own musical side projects. And the result shows they have brought something decent back to the party. Frontman Koenig bills the record as “the last of a trilogy” and describes it as “darker and more organic”, but existing fans will be delighted to hear it is unmistakably upbeat, showing the band’s varying influences. Opening with the mellow Obvious Bicycle, the tempo soon picks up with Unbelievers.

There are no duff tracks here – every song is a story in its own right. Diane Young is like a disco tune with its cacophony of sounds and tones, contrasted with the frantic falsetto in Finger Back and the softly delicate Hannah Hunt. While it doesn’t hit the heights of their eponymous debut – or the instant appeal of Oxford Comma, Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa or A-Punk, Koenig’s smart and poignant lyrics remain ever pertinent and intelligent. If you still think of Vampire Weekend as preppy Ivy League brats, get ready to change your mind. This is a great listen which repays repeated listening.