In the last decade or so since Vampire Weekend emerged from Columbia University with wry, literate, quasi-comic indie rock run by way of with African guitar filigree, the band has been many issues: a signature return-of-indie-rock avatar, an argument for musical omnivorousness, a flash level for conversations about cultural appropriation, a worthy competition band and extra.
It simply launched its fourth album, “Father of the Bride,” six years after its final. The Vampire Weekend of at the moment is preoccupied with all types of collapse, emotional and ecological and interpersonal. Ezra Koenig’s songwriting has gotten wiser and barely much less cheeky, and the manufacturing, largely by Koenig with Ariel Rechtshaid (who has labored with Adele, Haim and Charli XCX), is looser and freer than the band’s prior work.
“Father of the Bride,” which debuted at No. 1, sparks many questions: Was Vampire Weekend unfairly maligned in its day, and the way may or not it’s acquired on this period? Can one pretty name the group a jam band, a punk band or neither?
On this week’s Popcast:
Jon Pareles, The New York Times’s chief pop music critic
Rob Harvilla, who writes about tradition for The Ringer