Vampire Weekend is back after 6 years with vibrant new ‘Father of the Bride’

Vampire Weekend is back. “Father of the Bride,” its first album in six years, is multi-layered musically and lyrically and washes over the listener like a ray of spring sunshine after a long winter of no new music.

Listen closely to the lyrics, though, and there’s a darker undercurrent amid the breezy harmonizing, hand claps and up-tempo toe-tappers.

“I don’t want to live like this,” lead vocalist Ezra Koenig sings on “Harmony Hall,” the first single from the album, ”but I don’t want to die.”

On “This Life,” Koenig chirpily sings about pain “as natural as the rain,” crumbling dreams, cheating partners and “this life and all its suffering.”

“Oh, Christ, am I good for nothing?” one line goes.

Um, why exactly are we dancing and smiling while listening to this?

A lot has happened since Vampire Weekend’s most recent album “Modern Vampires of the City” was released in 2013. Producer and multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij left the band, though he still is credited as a co-producer on several songs.

Other guests include the Internet’s Steve Lacy, Danielle Haim and Jenny Lewis.

Sure, there’s some naval-gazing amid musical styles that range from indie pop to ska and flamenco to jazz, presented over 18 songs that clock in at just under a full hour.

But through all of the excesses, juxtapositions and contradictions, it’s hard not to get caught up in “Father of the Bride” because it’s just so fun.

Vampire Weekend performs June 16 at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.


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