Vampire Weekend to Return with First LP in Five Years ‘Only God Was Above Us’
Photo credit: Michael Schmelling
After five years, Vampire Weekend have returned today to announce Only God Was Above Us, the band’s fifth studio album. Set to release on April 5 via Columbia Records, the forthcoming full-length is the band’s first in five years, following The Father of the Bride in 2019 and 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City before that. Though recorded all over the world, the new project finds a home in New York of the 20th century, drawing inspiration from the matter-of-fact realism and grand aspirations of the bygone city where the group came of age.
Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio and Chris Tomson’s indie vanguard bill this latest offering as the band’s magnum opus. The album’s roots trace back to 2019, when Koenig wrote the majority of the lyrics for its 10 tracks. Over five tumultuous years, the band worked and reworked its sound before arriving at its new balance of stark grit and complex, high-flown beauty, clear in the closing track’s intimation of relenting acceptance and “Hope”: “I hope you let it go, I hope you let it go, Our enemy’s invincible, I hope you let it go.”
The new album features production from Koenig and Ariel Rechtshaid–with whom the band won Best Alternative Music Album Grammys for its last two projects–as well as mixing by Dave Fridmann and mastering by Emily Lazar. Only God Was Above Us derives its title from the 1988 Steven Siegel photograph that serves as its cover. Captured in a subway graveyard, a man reads the May 1 issue of the New York Daily News, detailing a survivor’s experience aboard the infamous Aloha Airlines flight 243 with the quote, “ONLY GOD WAS ABOVE US.” This statement imparts the haunting, cosmic sentimentality that pervades the project.
To celebrate its upcoming release, Vampire Weekend will take the stage at Austin, Texas’ Moody Amphitheatre on April 8th in alignment with the anticipated total eclipse. Tickets for this special event will go on sale on February 13th at 10 a.m. CT. Next week will also mark the release of the album’s first two singles, “Gen-x Cops” and “Capricorn.”
Only God Was Above Us is available to pre-order and pre-save now. Visit vampireweekend.com for more details.
Only God Was Above Us tracklist:
Ice Cream Piano