Vampire Weekend's new record Father Of The Bride is an album of the year contender
This fourth album by the New York indie-pop band fronted by Ezra Koenig has been a long time coming – six years after their third – but it’s more than worth the wait.
It’s on the generous side, with 18 songs clocking in at 58 minutes, and it’s their first without multi-instrumentalist and producer Rostam Batmanglij, who left in 2016.
It was preceded by a trio of what have once been called 'double-A-side' singles, and although songs like Harmony Hall and Unbearably White were a mouthwatering taste of what was to come, they aren’t even the best tracks on the album.
For me, that honour falls to the three delightful tracks on which Koenig is joined by Danielle Haim, from the all-sister Los Angeles group which bears her surname.
Their voices work perfectly together, each complementing the other, which is what makes Hold You Now, Married In A Gold Rush and the gorgeous We Belong Together such standout moments.
The sunny, summery feel of the album reminds me a lot of Paul Simon’s African-influenced '80s classic Graceland, but much of the subject matter is more gloomy - doom, complacency, romantic breakdowns and the state of the world.
Father Of the Bride album debuted at No. 1 in the US Billboard chart and No.2 in the UK and that’s no surprise.
It’s a lovely record, and could be a surprise contender for my album of the year. 8/10.