Vampire Weekend

Only God Was Above Us

Sony • 2024

While the fans had to wait six years for the last album »Father Of The Bride«, it’s only five years for »Only God Was Above Us«—and this time it’s not even a double album… The ten new songs are certain not to disappoint anyone, but only a few will be surprised. This is because the fifth work from Ezra Koenig and Co. sounds so typical Vampire Weekend that this major déjà-vu almost borders on self-plagiarism. You keep thinking that you can recognise snippets of melodies, sounds or song atmospheres from the New York indie-pop trio’s oeuvre: Does »Gen-X Cops« sound more like »A-Punk« or »Diane Young« now? Doesn’t the quirky chorus on »Mary Boone« remind you a bit of »Ya Hey«? Can’t you hear the hustle and bustle hidden beneath the bright melodies of »Classical« on »Flower Moon«? This self-referential game of hide-and-seek seems quite deliberate, as Koenig’s lyrics deal with his own legacy, personal development and place in history, which in turn can be applied to the band as a whole. The acceptance of ageing and transience doesn’t have to be jaded and dull; it can also be energetic, sometimes over the top and full of allusions to the good old days.