“19th Nervous Breakdown” (“Ya Hey”)
Over the past six years, the Vampire Weekend songbook has been defined by its pinballing pop arrangements as well as by the band’s wide-ranging and oblique lyrical references — whether he’s making mention of Lil Jon or medieval Latin hymns, frontman Ezra Koenig has revealed himself to be a cultural omnivore possessed of an insatiable appetite. With the arrival this week of the band’s third and arguably finest outing, Modern Vampires of the City, the New York ensemble has grown yet more intrepid, with Koenig directing his curiosity toward questions of, among other things, life and death. Here’s a comprehensive glossary of the unusual people, places, and things that he’s referenced in song since 2007, replete with correct pronunciations for each.
See also: The Animal Collective Centipedia
Correct pronunciations by Julia Walker