Posted by: pop-break | May 7, 2013

The Singles Party: Vampire Weekend, ‘Ya Hey’

the gang sinks their teeth into this new track …


Vampire Weekend has been releasing cuts off their new record, Modern Vampires In The City, for the past few weeks, and this week the gang at The Singles Party decided to sink their teeth into the latest cut — “Ya Hey.” Yeah, we enjoy a good vampire joke, what can we say?

Lauren Stern: I really, really, really, really hate to admit this, but all of the new Vampire Weekend tracks, including this one, are weak. I get that the band wanted to go in a different direction with their third release, but the tracks I heard so far are just too out-of-the-box and dark for me. I’m willing to bet that I just need some more time with it, but I don’t know if Vampire Weekend can ever create something better than Contra. Verdict: Abstain


Nick Porcaro: Alvin and the Chipmunks are back! (Peep those pitch-shifted vocals in the annoyingly infectious refrain.) But seriously, “Ya Hey” is but another stunner from these talented Brooklyn boys, juxtaposing Biblical incantations with a cheery stomp vaguely reminiscent of Passion Pit’s “Take a Walk.” And I’m convinced one can never go wrong with choral chants. It’s Vampire Weekend just the way we like them: confounding yet beguiling at once. Verdict: Add to the Playlist.

Jason Kundrath: After turning my ear in 2008 with their pop-smart, Graceland-inspired eponymous debut, and then proceeding to explode my expectations with their expansive (and no less danceable) followup, Contra, in 2010, Vampire Weekend are set to make my shortlist of favorite bands with their latest release, Modern Vampires of the City. “Ya Hey” – like the previous two songs they’ve teased – is yet another example of why Vampire Weekend is an undeniable force. It’s Ezra Koenig’s knack for lovely melodies and thought provoking lyrics. It’s the band’s unique approach to rhythm and instrumentation. It’s the intricately detailed production that goes into every element of their recordings. It’s their commitment to challenge your ears, but to never withhold the essential delights of a pop song: solid beats and sticky hooks. Verdict: Add to the Playlist.


Jason Stives: Vampire Weekend is one of those groups that appeared in my life and just never left — and for good reason. Despite certain perceptions that the band seems to elicit by their look and sound, they are one of the few groups that I listen to who seem to stay confident in every choice they make musically. Modern Vampires Of The City is already looking to be something special from what has been heard so far and “Ya Hey” continues that assumption by being striking in subject and overall composition. The scope of it is remarkable combining Ezra Koenig’s ability to write both profoundly and catchy all at once. It’s a song that feels incredibly daring but this is a band constantly humbled by their opportunities to explore in music. There is so much going on here but it all works (yes, even the Alvin and the Chipmunks vocals) and while a very dynamic and complex number it shows how the band is always radio friendly ready to the audience’s ears. If the chorus doesn’t catch you, then the choral chants will or the drum beat that marches with precision throughout this dazzling track. Verdict: Add to the Playlist.

Brent Johnson: Anyone who thinks Vampire Weekend do nothing but ape Paul Simon and dress like upper-class hipsters have missed something: They are actually one of the most versatile pop bands in recent memory. Yes, on the surface, they really, really love Graceland. But they also have mixed in bits of punk, new wave, art-rock, and classical into their insanely catchy songs. This eclecticism is even more pronounced on the new tracks they’ve released from their upcoming album. ‘Ya Hey’ isn’t as thrilling as pycho-Elvis freakout of ‘Diane Young,’ the record’s first single, but it sounds like a ’50s tune recasted for a 21st century alt-rock audience. Which just goes to prove Vampire Weekend is nothing if not interesting. Verdict: Add to the Playlist

Bill Bodkin: “Ya Hey” is a song that really grows on you. It’s one of those tracks that you give it one listen and you think “Eh, it’s alright.” Then the chorus starts repeating itself in your brain, then the beat slowly starts creeping in, then before you know it you find yourself bopping your head to it and singing it to yourself as you drive the highway. It’s a subtly infectious song from the boys from Brooklyn, who have dazzled us with infectiously wonderful songs for the past few years. Verdict: Add to the Playlist.

Final Verdict: The gang is in favor of the latest from the boys from Brooklyn.


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