Ezra Koenig Shares An Update On The Next Vampire Weekend Album
Having successfully beaten cancer, blink-182’s Mark Hoppus is back to hosting his Apple Music Hits radio show After School Radio. His final guest of 2021 is fellow Apple radio host Ezra Koenig, who weighed in on a few subjects, most interestingly the status of the next Vampire Weekend album.
Father Of The Bride came out in May of 2019, and it’s been pretty much three years since the rollout began with “Harmony Hall” and “2021.” Back then, “2021” still seemed like a vaguely futuristic title. The good news is — and I’m sure I’m jinxing it by saying this — it doesn’t sound like the band is going to take six years between albums this time. Here’s the update, straight from Koenig:
It is crazy that it’s been three years. I mean, about a year and a half of it doesn’t count because of COVID but, yeah…We’ve been working on music and, yeah, we were just recording in England for a while, now back in LA, working with everybody and, yeah, I mean, I think we’re… I’m always hesitant to… Sometimes I oversell how close we are with the record because who really knows? But we almost have an album’s worth of songs. As you well know, you could tinker with a song forever; change the arrangement, change the lyrics, whatever. But in that sense we’re close. I have no idea how long it’ll take to finish, but we’re feeling really good about the new material. So yeah, a lot of studio time to come after the holidays.
Oh, who am I kidding, this is definitely not dropping until 2026.
Koenig also talked about how the song he wrote for the sloppy steaks sketch in season 2 of I Think You Should Leave came about:
Basically through the producer, Akiva [Schaffer], from Lonely Island, and I’d met Tim Robinson before over the years. He’d come to a show. I was a huge fan. He’d always been cool. And then, Akiva hit me up just saying, “Hey, the guys need a song for the next season of the show. Could you do it?” And I was like, “Yeah, whatever.” Anything for that show. And then, we got on the phone with them and they basically wanted not a bad pop song, but kind of a… They played me references and stuff for what they were looking for, and they already had some lyrics. So, it’s not like they were wanting a song that sounds like me or Vampire Weekend, they just wanted to know if we’d have fun with it. And the best way I could describe the kind of music that they were looking for is pop music that came two or three levels after Frank Ocean and Bon Iver. The kind of not-so-great pop music that was very influenced by that music. I don’t even know how to describe it. I don’t know if there’s a name for it, but I was like, “Okay.” So we got the assignment and then I did it with my boy, Ariel [Rechtshaid].
Good to know that song is not indicative of VW’s creative direction. Koenig also talked about Licorice Pizza, which stars VW friend Alana Haim and features all three Haim sisters:
It’s weird seeing all these people you know. Like the whole Haim family’s in it, but then also just, it’s such a hyper specific vibe. It’s so funny. It’s a very cool movie, great music, so many good cameos. The casting is amazing, and that actually got me going back to all the earlier PTA work and checking it out and it’s really given me… People always say sometimes that the valley is the New Jersey of LA? It’s outside the cool part. People kind of hate on it, but it’s an important part of the area. It’s a little funkier. And so, this movie really helped me understand the connection. That’s that place just outside the big city. It’s in the glow of it, but it’s not quite there. And there’s just a slightly different type of person, a different type of struggle, or something.
Koenig also discussed his favorite book of 2021 (Peter Doggett’s 2009 tome You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After The Breakup, which sounds like it dovetails with Get Back) and his love for the English Beat’s “Save It For Later.” Hear the full episode here.