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Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend, the smart, quirky, world-beat-infused rock band, are at it again with their new album, Modern Vampires of the City, set to be released May 7.

Vampire Weekend successfully blends African beats with punk rock, while lacing the whole thing with instruments as varied as harpsichord and synthesizer. The lyrics are often confounding yet deep when analyzed closely. The new album is sure to follow their pattern of clever, indefinable and incredibly enjoyable tunes.

The band formed when frontman Ezra Koenig met drummer Chris Thompson at Columbia University, starting as a rap collaboration. After gaining Rostam Batmanglij and Chris Baio as members, the band went on to create their wildly successful eponymous first album in 2008. The songs were catchy and unique, causing songs such as “A-Punk” to be used in several films and commercials.

In 2010, they released Contra, another dynamic and eccentric album. They continued to blend genres and fill their songs with colorful arrangements. Contra was polished and weird, and fans consumed it like crazy. Again, movies and commercials loved the stick-in-your-head-ness of the album, so songs such as “Holiday” provided soundtracks to several advertisements.

Modern Vampires of the City promises to be nothing short of unconventional. Vampire Weekend started marketing the album by spamming social media with the acronym MVOTC, confusing fans. They then released two songs from the new album, “Diane Young” and “Step.” The songs were accompanied by a video of a burning car and a lyrics video, respectively. If these two tracks are any indication of what to expect, the new album will utilize synthesizer and electronica a bit more than the past two. The altered voice effects transform Koenig’s vocals from his normal lilting melody to a warped baritone, a muted falsetto and finally straight-up auto-tuned. These songs show influence of noise rock, afro-beat and a host of disparate genres. Koenig described the new album as “darker and more organic.”

Basically, it’s going to be awesome.

– By Sasha Freger 


Ciara, Ciara

Ciara returns to the music scene with her fifth album, the self-titled Ciara to be released on July 9, 2013 through Epic Records. It’s her first release since parting ways with the now defunct Jive Records.

This is her follow-up album to Basic Instinct (2010). We got a taste of the Ciara’s new work with the release of “Body Party,” the first single from the album, which was released this March. The music video for the song was filmed right here in Atlanta and released April 22.

The album has more of a soulful sound then some of her previous, poppy albums. It also features musical collaborations with rap star Nicki Minaj and her current boyfriend Future who co-wrote “Body Party.”

According to Ciara, this is a pivotal album in her career. When asked about the album on “106 & Park” on BET, she said, “This album goes beyond my music. This time it’s about taking a new journey with me.”

– By Kelli Richardson