In one of the first interviews promoting Vampire Weekend’s new album Father Of The Bride, Ezra Koenig mentioned experiencing a brief moment of panic upon realizing that Post Malone and Swae Lee had released a hit song called “Sunflower.” Koenig remembers thinking, “We have a song on this record called ‘Sunflower.’ God, we have to get this out!”
Vampire Weekend do indeed have a “Sunflower” of their own, a Steve Lacy collaboration that recently got a Jonah Hill-directed video with appearances from Jerry Seinfeld and Fab Five Freddy. But in a radio performance today, Koenig and his band covered the other “Sunflower,” the chart-topping hit from Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse.
When performing in BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, it’s customary to cover another artist’s music. Vampire Weekend were there today, playing music and chatting with Clara Amfo. And after a run through Father Of The Bride’s lead single “Harmony Hall,” they did Post and Swae’s “Sunflower” (which, if we’re being honest, is the superior “Sunflower”). The Vampire Weekend version is wispy and organic, more like jazzy gospel music than the original’s crisp digital daydream. They also subtly worked in the guitar melodies from their own “Sunflower” (after the first chorus) and “Harmony Hall” (after the second).
Check out the performances below, and listen to the interview here. Koenig talks with Amfo starting at 1:17, “Harmony Hall” begins at 2:02, and the “Sunflower” cover is at 2:12.
Father Of The Bride is out 5/3 on Columbia. To give a sense of how long it’s been since Vampire Weekend released an album, last time they were in the Live Lounge they covered Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”