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Song You Need To Know: Vampire Weekend, ‘Sunflower’

Another taste of the forthcoming ‘Father Of The Bride’ LP shows the reformed band in top shape, with help from The Internet’s Steve Lacy and a video nosh with Jerry Seinfeld.

ezra koenig steve lacy

Michael O'Neal

Perhaps the best, and certainly the most weirdly-grooving of the four tracks Vampire Weekend have trickled out in advance of their forthcoming Father Of The Bride LP, “Sunflower” opens up with a swirl of tag-teaming guitar and bass runs, which are soon mirrored by wordless vocals. Internet guitarist-vocalist Steve Lacy helps out, as Ezra Koenig sings abstractedly about a garden that somehow recalls the one St. Stephen trafficked in that Grateful Dead song, with a gear shift into sunny soul-pop on the chorus, which involves a “strange thought upon the pillow.” The whole thing hopscotches by in a blur, and is over in 2:18 — at which point you want to hear it again.

The video, directed by Jonah Hill, is fittingly woozy, with a split-screen, spiraling point-of-view. In a charming touch for a band that always rooted its internationalism in home turf, the clip depicts Koenig apparently giving Lacy a tour of his fave brunch spots, the iconic New York City Upper West Side lox-and-bagel temples Zabar’s and Barney Greengrass. At the latter, homeboy Jerry Seinfeld turns up, kibbitzing over a display case of smoked fish and halvah. Fab Five Freddy and some adorable puppies are also involved. You’ll leave hungry for a nosh, and for the album, which so far is sounding great.

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