Vampire Weekend, that band you dug way too much in college and have since kept around for nostalgic purposes, are actually back this time. After a six-year semi-hiatus that partially got extended due to co-founder Rostam Batmanglij leaving the band in early 2016, VW have announced their fourth album, due this spring, and shared a pair of new songs. Alas, the album formally known as Mitsubishi Macchiato has ditched that perfect working title and settled for what is either an homage to a very random choice in the Elizabeth Taylor filmography or a ploy to work with Steve Martin and Steve Martin’s banjo. It’s called Father of the Bride, like, yes, the movie(s). But, also, it could very well just be an on-the-nose nod to Vulture correspondent Quincy Jones, who is the father of front man Ezra Koenig’s partner (bride???), Rashida Jones (the two have a son together), which, if so, well played, sir. (Ahem, Koenig does sing “We took a vow in summertime” on one of the new songs.)
Anyhoo, the album announcement also comes with two new songs: “Harmony Hall,” which credits Batmanglij (he’s not gone!) and Ariel Rechtshaid as co-producers, Greg Leisz and Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth on guitar, and HAIM’s Danielle Haim on vocals. There’s also “2021,” which samples a composition Haruomi Hosono made in the ’80s to be played in Muji stores in Japan and credits Jenny Lewis on vocals. Koenig also told Beats 1 that FOTB will have 18 songs and the band’s first-ever features, one of them being the Internet’s Steve Lacy. But still, no answers about why Father of the Bride?!?!
Update, 1:18 p.m.: Finally, a morsel of clarity. Koenig has confirmed to Rolling Stone that the album is named after the Steve Martin version of Father of the Bride, which Koenig didn’t see until recently. But just to clear up some confusion, Koenig says he’s not married, but the movie did get him thinking about commitment and how it’s all just so intense, “almost Biblical” even. He says, “I think everybody thinks about those things as you get older. There’s something about [the title] that’s almost Biblical. It’s about the ties that bind, the relationships between communities, between humans and God, between people and the land they live on.” Okay!