Vampire Weekend – “Ya Hey”

Vampire Weekend

For anyone enamored with the Manhattanite guitar raga of Vampire Weekend’s debut LP, the affected dance-inclinations and lyrical pensiveness of its follow-up, Contra, were probably a disappointment on some level. Vampire Weekend are pressing on in their engagement with house beats and their neglect of Ezra Koenig’s snappy guitar playing, but their lyrics have never struck more of a chord than on “Ya Hey.” “Ya Hey” deals with the complexities, both social and personal, of developing a relationship with the idea of god (or so I think – Koenig’s muddled refrain does kind of sound like “Yaweh”), though this is smartly bent in all sorts of ways through Koenig’s lyrical privilege. The lyric video (Vampire Weekend’s second to be released in promotion of their upcoming Modern Vampires of the City) features slow-motion shots of people solemnly popping bottles of champagne: typically used in television and film to represent the upper class, it is an action that has been transformed into something darkly ceremonial – even religious.

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