Vampire weekend return with new singles, “Step” and “Diane Young,” name-drop Berkeley in the process

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Vampire Weekend, our favorite group of collared-shirt Columbia grads, are back! Though these East Coast elites have often focused on esoteric topics (the one-two punch of “Mansard Roof” and “Oxford Comma” come to mind), their music is so bouncy, catchy and straight-up fun that any concern with pretentiousness is completely eviscerated. Plus, those highbrow lyrics are pretty fun to say (consider “Ion displacement won’t work in the basement”).

After recording their self-titled debut album in 2008 in New York, they opted for a change of scenery for their second album, Contra, by coming out to L.A. and giving us sunny West Coast jams like “Horchata” and “California English”.

Well it turns out, their love affair with the Golden State continues on one of the new singles from their forthcoming album Modern Vampires of the City (due to be  out May 7). “Step” is a subtly gorgeous, slow-burning number with a string-bass foundation and an appealing melody. As I was kicking back and giving it a listen, I heard this coming from speakers:

“While home in New York was champagne and disco

Tapes from L.A. slash San Francisco

But actually Oakland and not Alameda

Your girl was in Berkeley with her Communist reader”

And then it goes on to say “Mine was entombed within boombox and walkman / I was a hoarder, but girl that was back then,” and other such random musings. I’m still not exactly sure what the hell they’re talking about, but I can tell you that any reference to my favorite California cities causes instant excitement and pride.

I have a feeling this song will get quite the reception when Vampire Weekend comes to Oakland in April.

Also check out the second single, “Diane Young.”

Contact David Bradford at [email protected].