ALBUMS OF THE DECADE: Vampire Weekend’s ‘Modern Vampires of the City’

MMC Writers reflect on their favorite records of the 2010s.

With their unique style and sensibility, Vampire Weekend has been one of the most consistent producers of quality music since their self-titled debut in 2008. The overarching quality of their discography is why Vampire Weekend is one of my favorite bands. Despite “A-Punk” being arguably the best song in their entire catalog (don’t @ me) and the summery tones of their newest album, Father of the Bride, opening up an exciting new chapter of the band’s sound, there should be little debate between fans or critics that 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City is the band’s greatest work, and one of the best albums of the decade.

Vampire Weekend has long been a model of posh and pretense in indie rock, eschewing the familiar distorted guitars of The Strokes and The Black Keys for harpsichords and string quartets on songs like “M79” and “Walcott.” On MVOTC, Ezra Koenig, Rostam and company ratchet up their brand of indie with tracks like “Step” and “Don’t Lie” that weave into a piano-driven project that somehow feel a perfect extension of their previous works.

I could wax poetic on how the sonic variety and natural cohesion of MVOTC’s track list make it an unmistakable classic, but it’s much easier for me to say you’ll be hard pressed to find a scenario where one of these 12 songs and 43 minutes of near perfection can’t be queued up. “Unbelievers,” “Diane Young,” and “Worship You” are all top contenders for your running or dancing playlist. “Obvious Bicycle,” and “Hannah Hunt” are two tracks among many that embody the calm and cold cover photo of New York City’s smoggiest day on record. No matter what song you pick, there’s a mood for each that you can immerse yourself in.

When comparing MVOTC to the band’s first two albums, it’s wild to imagine Vampire Weekend pulled off their evolution into patriarchs of indie so flawlessly. I’m not sure that what we received in 2013 is exactly what Vampire Weekend stans were expecting at the time, but I am certain that 99 out of 100 people surveyed wouldn’t change this album in the slightest.