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Vampire Weekend channel Madchester at its most carefree on return single Harmony Hall

Ezra Koenig and Vampire Weekend return with single Harmony Hall

Critic favorites, Vampire Weekend, have returned following an extended hiatus. But, while the indie darlings deliver a pleasant sound on their return, depth and wit are sacrificed. Is it enough to keep the numerous Ezra Koenig & co. fans happy?

Many things have changed about indie and alternative rock fans in recent years. One of the considerable changes has been in the way they view success. Yes, there is still elitism that dictates that true artists should do their best to avoid public recognition. But for most fans, this is not the case. For better or worse, most want their favorites to be successful. They want to see them on large festival bills. They do not mind hearing their music adopted by a complex ad campaign. Now, number sales and streams are something to boast about. It is something that famous bands like Bring me the Horizon know too well.

Vampire Weekend occupies such a place. Their success and mass acceptance is an essential part of their story so far. Their return in 2019 comes with news of a massive Vampire Weekend tour. Their return likely has advertisers rubbing their hands. Yes, they are a successful indie rock band, in as any sound can be repurposed as indie rock in 2019. A Vampire Weekend album makes the needle move for both band and their business partners.

Vampire Weekend’s Harmony Hall, an anthem to hopes unending life ?

New single Harmony Hall arrives a full six years since their last music release. It’s the teaser track on the band’s upcoming album Father of the Bride. By this stage in the game, many welcome Ezra Koenig as a friendly spokesperson of a generation. A kind, zanier version of Chris Martin. So, how is this captain of indie rock industry feeling these days?

On Harmony Hall the band sound confused, yet happy. The music is arranged beautifully, but its purpose is not exactly clear. It’s as if young grown ups find themselves decorating a large house. They use bright colors. They cut no corners on expenses. But, what purpose each room will have is never exactly know.

Harmony Hall is not a bad song. It includes sweeping arpeggios. It’s built on beats and a chord progression right out of the sunniest days of baggy Madchester. The songs’ lyrics suggest gravitas under the surface. It is errmature. That is a word rarely used in alternative rock.

But, for all its accomplishments, the new Vampire Weekend single possesses some less admirable traits. The song feels like a soundtrack. The scene could represent indie rock’s slow journey to adult contemporary. And this is a leap that doesn’t feel like an all too distant effort for Ezra Koenig and Vampire Weekend. Fans of the band will be pleased to have them back. But, many alternative rock fans are unlikely to have felt the absence.

Eduard Bănulescu

About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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