Listen: Vampire Weekend – “Diane Young” and “Step”

Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend have released the first official tracks from the band’s upcoming third album Modern Vampires of the City, which will be out May 7 via XL Recordings.

With “Diane Young” and “Step,” Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio and Chris Tomson have excavated sonic territory that sounds decidedly like a natural progression from the self-titled debut and Contra, but each song also brings along a wealth of new ideas that are quite different from songs on either of wildly successful albums. On “Diane Young,” Koenig and co. dive headfirst into a titular pun to sing “dyin’ young won’t change your mind.” Riding the theme, the Koenig manically croons out a string of “baby, baby, baby” like it would’ve sounded on the radio The Day the Music Died, but the band mangles the melody and the playing with a disorienting, funhouse production, refurbish their experiment for a wicked 21st Century update, and then smash it against the wall into a thousand distorted pieces.

The closest existing cousin to “Step” in Vampire Weekend’s catalog is likely the exquisite “Diplomat’s Son” from Contra. Far gentler and more pristine than “Diane Young,” it’s a tune that eases you into its splendor as you hang on to Koenig’s every word dancing around the glistening production. It’s easily both one of the most arresting and fashionable moments in the band’s impressive discography to date, although even here the guys are willing to play it entirely straight – as evidenced by the curious coda in the final 25 seconds which threatens to leave a bad taste in some listeners’ mouths after all the elegance.

Consequence of Sound reported that “Diane Young” and “Step” will be available digitally starting on March 19, and a limited-edition 7″ will follow on April 9.

Modern Vampires of the City will be out on May 7.

Modern Vampires of the City

What are your thoughts on the new tunes?

Vampire Weekend – “Diane Young”

Vampire Weekend – “Step”

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