“Harmony Hall” is a swooning tune packed with kind vibes that opens with a tumbling acoustic guitar lick before settling into a groove reminiscent of the Grateful Dead. “And the stone walls of Harmony Hall bear witness,” frontman Ezra Koenig sings, “Anybody with a holy mind can never forgive the sight/Of wicked snakes inside a place you thought was dignified/I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die” (the last line also appears in Vampire Weekend’s 2013 song “Finger Back”).
“2021,” meanwhile, is a short, stripped-down song that’s centered around a sample of a song acclaimed Japanese musician Haruomi Hosono wrote to be played in Muji stores in the Eighties. As a steely guitar intertwines with the soft pulse of a synth, Koenig sings, “2021, will you think about me?/I could wait a year but I couldn’t wait three.”
Koenig spoke about both tracks, as well as Father of the Bride, in an interview with Beats 1 DJ Matt Wilkinson Thursday. He said that Harmony Hall features production from ex-Vampie Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij, who also contributed extensively to one other Father of the Bride song. Keonig said the record would boast an array of collaborators, as well as two featured guests, who would appear on multiple tracks (one of them, Koenig confirmed, was guitarist Steve Lacey, though he declined to name the other).
“It was hard to imagine at first, what does a Vampire Weekend feature look like, cause we’ve never done it,” Koenig said. “And then I realized, our whole thing was that we make record with a small crew, whether it’s the early days, me and Rostam sitting in front of a computer, bringing in [producer] Ariel [Rechtshaid] on the last album… So I was like, ‘You know what, if we’re gonna get any features, if somebody’s worth having on one song, they’re worth having on two or three.’ The features are people who are really part of the fabric of the record.”
Vampire Weekend have yet to announce an official release date for Father of the Bride, though they do plan to release two more sets of songs before the record arrives. Vampire Weekend’s last album, Modern Vampires of the City, was released in 2013.