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

Vampire Weekend has returned with a double dose of nostalgia-infused songs straight from the heart of 1988 New York City.

With their most recent releases, “Capricorn” and “Gen-X Cops,” the band takes us on a sonic journey filled with wistful ballads, gnarly distorted chords, and upbeat anthems that will have you dodging drafts and embracing your inner Gen-X cop.

But that is not all—paired with music videos dripping with vintage flair, courtesy of Steven Siegel’s iconic footage, these tracks transport us back to a time when leg warmers reigned supreme and Pixies-esque guitar riffs ruled the radio.

And suppose that is not enough to pique your interest. In that case, Vampire Weekend‘s upcoming North American tour promises a lineup as diverse as their music, ranging from Billy Joel tributes to hardcore superstars (almost).

“Capricorn” is a wistful ballad in the style of “Step,” transitioning 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 was not yours,” Ezra Koenig sings in the chorus. “Too old to die young, too young to live alone, sifting through centuries for moments of your own.” Koenig and Ariel Rechtshaid collaborated to write and produce this song.

“Gen-X Cops,” named for Benny Chan’s 1999 Hong Kong action crime comedy, is much more upbeat. This one features a high-pitched, Pixies-style overdriven guitar that wiggles and wails throughout.

Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend

The majority of the lyrics here are pretty quotable, but here’s one: “Dodging the draft but can not dodge the war/ Forever cursed to live insecurely/ The curtain drops/ A gang of Gen-X cops assembles/ Trembling before our human nature.” Koenig and drummer Chris Tomson co-wrote and produced this track with Ariel Rechtshaid.

Drew Pearce directed the video for “Gen-X Cops”. It employs the same film stocks as Siegel’s 1988 film and captures the band in a genuine 1970s New York subway car, seamlessly blending new and old footage.

Pearce and director of photography Doug Emmett even researched the light patterns of 1980s subway tunnels to create a rig to mimic them while filming the video.

Finally, Vampire Weekend has announced extensive tour dates across North America. They have a diverse lineup of openers, 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.

That last one is not a typo; instead of the Baltimore hardcore superstars, it is a Billy Joel tribute band.

Vampire Weekend has left us eagerly anticipating their next move. With a mix of whimsical ballads and infectious beats, they have once again demonstrated their mastery of musical time travel.

And, as they prepare for an epic North American tour with a lineup as diverse as it is unexpected, one thing is certain: whether you are a Capricorn or a Gen-X cop, there is something in their sound that speaks to every generation.

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