Vampire Weekend Only God Was Above Us Review: Eclectic New Yorkers let there be more light on fifth album

Vampire Weekend present multi-faceted love letter to NYC on first new album in five years

Vampire Weekend

by Jim Wirth |
Updated on

Vampire Weekend

Only God Was Above Us



“FUCK THE WORLD,” sings Ezra Koenig on Ice Cream Piano, setting an unusually harsh tone for Vampire Weekend’s stylishly crumpled fifth LP. Some raging may have occurred in the five years since the release of Father Of The Bride – the band’s first outing since the departure of in-house boffin Rostam Batmanglij – but Only God Was Above Us feels like a record made by a band once more comfortable in their skins.

The Keith Haring melodies of Classical and unexpected choral stabs on Mary Boone hark back to earlier VW incarnations, but there are pleasingly cosmic new tricks here too; check out the Skip Spence rhythm section and art noise stabs on Capricorn. “The enemy’s invincible,” sings Koenig as he faces up to his fortieth birthday on closer Hope, but there’s a quiet contentment in that. Time is always running out: double the reason to love the world while you can.


Ice Cream Piano
Prep-School Gangsters
The Surfer
Gen-X Cops
Mary Boone

Only God Was Above Us is out now on Columbia.

Listen/Buy: Spotify | Apple Music | Amazon | Rough Trade | HMV

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