Home Read Albums Of The Week: Vampire Weekend | Only God Was Above Us

Albums Of The Week: Vampire Weekend | Only God Was Above Us

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Only God Was Above Us is the fifth studio album — and first in five years — from Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio and Chris Tomson. Inspired and haunted by 20th-century New York City, the album was recorded all over the world, from Manhattan to Los Angeles to London and Tokyo. Only God Was Above Us was primarily produced by Koenig and longtime collaborator Ariel Rechtshaid, and was mixed by Dave Fridmann.

The beginnings of Only God Was Above Us stretch back to 2019 and 2020, when Koenig wrote the bulk of the lyrics. The 10-track opus is the product of nearly five years spent refining, reworking and gradually shaping those lyrical and melodic structures to take Vampire Weekend to a new creative peak. The album is direct yet complex, showing the band at once at its grittiest, and also at its most beautiful and melodic.

Only God Was Above Us is nothing short of a definitive statement — one that begins on a playfully profane and confrontational note, and runs a gauntlet of emotions, experiences, characters and stories, before ending on an unambiguous note of acceptance… and quite literally Hope:

“I hope you let it go
I hope you let it go
Our enemy’s invincible
I hope you let it go”

The title is lifted directly from the album artwork, comprised of photos taken from a subway graveyard in New Jersey in 1988 by Steven Siegel. In the album’s cover, a man in a toppled subway car reads the May 1, 1988 edition of the New York Daily News — the cover story detailing the horrific explosion that tore the roof off Aloha Airlines flight 243. The headline quotes a survivor.

Only God Was Above Us is the band’s first LP since 2019’s Father Of The Bride, which was the band’s third consecutive No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 in the U.S. Nominated for an Album Of The Year Grammy, Father Of The Bride won Best Alternative Album, marking the band’s second win in that category. The acclaimed album and its coinciding tour of sold-out arenas and festival headlining slots, solidified the Tri-State born-and-bred group as the preeminent band of the New York rock scene.”