Vampire Weekend – “Capricorn” & “Gen-X Cops”

Vampire Weekend – “Capricorn” & “Gen-X Cops”

They’re finally here: the first new Vampire Weekend songs in five years. After some light teasing, the band announced their Father Of The Bride follow-up Only God Was Above Us last week. Now we get to hear two songs from the 10-song album — a full 20% of the tracklist. Both songs have music videos built around footage of New York circa 1988 by Steven Siegel, the photographer who shot the Only God Was Above Us album art.

“Capricorn” is a wistful ballad in the same vein as “Step,” building from a string-laden acoustic sway to some supremely gnarly distorted keyboard chords. “Capricorn/ The year that you were born/ Finished fast/ And the next one wasn’t yours,” Ezra Koenig sings on the chorus. “Too old for dying young/ Too young to live alone/ Sifting through centuries/ For moments of your own.” Koenig and Ariel Rechtshaid wrote and produced this one together. Nick Harwood, longtime Vampire Weekend creative director, directed the “Capricorn” video. The band shows up at the end.

“Gen-X Cops,” named for Benny Chan’s 1999 Hong Kong action crime comedy, is much more upbeat. A high-pitched, Pixies-esque overdriven guitar wiggles and wails its way through this one. Most of the lyrics here are pretty quotable, but here’s one: “Dodged the draft but can’t dodge the war/ Forever cursed to live insecure/ The curtain drops/ A gang of Gen-X cops assembles/ Trembling before our human nature.” Koenig and drummer Chris Tomson cowrote this one, and they produced it together with Ariel Rechtshaid.

The “Gen-X Cops” video was directed by Drew Pearce. It uses the exact film stocks Siegel used in 1988 and films the band in an authentic 1970s New York subway car, seamlessly mixing the new imagery in with Siegel’s footage. Pearce and director of photography Doug Emmett even researched the light patterns of 1980s subway tunnels to build a rig that would emulate them while shooting the video.

One last thing: Vampire Weekend have also announced extensive North American tour dates. They’ve got a wide range of openers lined up, including La Lom, the English Beat, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Mike Gordon, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Ra Ra Riot, Princess, Cults, Mark Ronson (doing a DJ set), the Brothers Macklovich (A-Trak and Chromeo’s Dave 1), and Turnstiles. No, that last one is not a typo; rather than the Baltimore hardcore superstars, it’s a Billy Joel tribute act.

Watch both videos below, where you can also find Vampire Weekend’s tour itinerary.

04/08 – Austin, TX @ Moody Amphitheater (Solar Eclipse) – SOLD OUT
04/27 – New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
05/10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Block Party
05/30 – Barcelona, Espana @ Primavera Sound*
06/06 – Houston, TX @ 713 Music Hall
06/07 – Irving, TX @ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
06/09 – Phoenix, AZ @ Arizona Financial Theatre
06/10 – San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
06/12 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
06/15 – Berkeley, CA @ The Greek Theatre at U.C. Berkeley
06/16 – Berkeley, CA @ The Greek Theatre at U.C. Berkeley (Matinee Show)
06/18 – Burnaby, BC @ Deer Lake Park
06/19 – Bend, OR @ Hayden Homes Amphitheater
06/20 – Seattle, WA @ Climate Pledge Arena
06/22 – Bonner, MT @ KettleHouse Amphitheater
06/23 – Bonner, MT @ KettleHouse Amphitheater (Matinee Show)
07/19 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
07/22 – Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre
07/23 – Lincoln, NE @ Pinewood Bowl Theater^
07/25 – Maryland Heights, MO @ Saint Louis Music Park
07/26 – Chicago, IL @ Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
07/27 – Chicago, IL @ Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
07/30 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Armory
08/01 – Milwaukee, WI @ BMO Pavilion
08/03 – St. Charles, IA @ Hinterland
09/19 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center
09/20 – Cincinnati, OH @ The ICON Festival Stage at Smale Park
09/21 – Indianapolis, IN @ Everwise Amphitheater at White River State Park
09/23 – Rochester Hills, MI @ Meadow Brook Amphitheatre
09/24 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
09/25 – Laval, QC @ Place Bell
09/27 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden
09/28 – Philadelphia, PA @ TD Pavilion at The Mann
09/30 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem
10/02 – Charlottesville, VA @ Ting Pavilion
10/05 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
10/06 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden (Matinee Show)
10/08 – Wilmington, NC @ Live Oak Bank Pavilion
10/09 – Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater
10/11 – Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater
10/12 – Atlanta, GA @ Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park
10/13 – Asheville, NC @ Rabbit Rabbit
10/15 – St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheatre
10/17 – Austin, TX @ Moody Center

Only God Was Above Us is out 4/5 on Columbia.

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