Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig sat down for an interview with the Sunday Times, where he revealed quite a bit about the band’s upcoming album Father of the Bride. Koenig described the opening track “Hold You Now” as one of the album’s particularly folky standouts, and the song includes a sample from Hans Zimmer‘s score for the 1998 war film The Thin Red Line. Multiple songs will also feature guest vocals from past collaborator Danielle Haim.
Koenig also discussed another song titled “Unbearably White,” which he says is about how “infighting among white people about how is marginally more or less white is not particularly interesting.” The last track on the album, “Jerusalem, New York, Berlin” is about the Koenig’s attempt to make sense of his Jewish identity at a time when the country’s relationship with Palestine is more complicated than ever. The song makes direct reference to the Balfour Declaration, the public statement issued by the British government announcing their support for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.
The songwriter also spoke about his continued support for Bernie Sanders. Vampire Weekend notably performed at multiple Bernie Sanders rallies in 2016, and Koenig and the gang say they will continue to support the Vermont senator in 2020. “I like to believe he’s less of a sociopath than a lot of people who want to be president, but it’s hard to be as excited as I was in 2016,” Koenig says. “I also subscribe to the brief that Trump doesn’t represent an upheaval so much as a moment of clarity about the way things have always been.”
In other news, Koenig recently announced on Instagram that the band would releasing two new songs on Thursday, the last batch of singles before Father of the Bride officially drops May 3. Those new singles, which arrive at 8am EST Thursday morning, have titles with the initials “TL” and “UW.” “I kinda love this two songs at a time thing, but ultimately it’s meant to be heard as an album,” he captioned on Instagram.
The band have already released four singles from the album: “Harmony Hall,” “2021,” “Sunflower,” and “Big Blue.” They have also announced a series of international tour dates bringing them through Europe and North America later this year. See Koenig’s Instagram teaser below and read the Sunday Times‘ full (paywalled) interview here.