2013 was the year of Vampire Weekend. Their third LP, Modern Vampires of the City, debuted at Number One on Billboard, got rave reviews, and was named the album of the year by Rolling Stone. Likely in a triumphant mood, the group recorded a love song, heavily reworking the neo-classical “Con te Partirò,” made famous by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.
In the song, Vampire Weekend make a few daring choices, and they all work. The huge orchestra found on Bocelli’s version is replaced with a reggae beat. Supported by the bouncing rhythm, frontman Ezra Koenig is free take a stab at the song’s extended verses, which leave a lot of room for flair (and little for breath, putting his pipes to the test). Koenig’s voice still has his famously youthful timbre, but it has deepened and broadened slightly, giving his delivery a worldly essence.
“‘Con te Partirò’ is one of the greatest love songs of all time,” Koenig tells Rolling Stone. “Its beauty transcends language. Thank you, Mr. Bocelli, for introducing us to this majestic gem.”
“Con te Partirò” is on the upcoming Sweetheart 2014 album, due out February 4th, which features artists covering famous love tunes, including contributions from Beck, Ben Harper, Fiona Apple, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and more.