Ezra Koenig served up some fuzzy details about Vampire Weekend’s upcoming fourth album, as well as an explanation about why it took them so long to make it, in an Instagram post Thursday. He’s not ready yet to share the record’s title, but he did offer up its initials: FOTB. The record, due out this year, will contain 18 songs and clock in at 59 minutes; the vinyl edition will come out on two LPs. They’ll serve up a first taste of the record next week, with the group unveiling three two-song posts monthly until its release (which suggests a spring release date).
The vague song details are as follows: The first batch is known as “hh”/”2021”; the second is “s”/”bb” and the final will be “tl”/”uw.” With this announcement, Koenig added the caveat, “Plans can change, but that’s the plan.”
As for the reason it’s taken so long for the group to follow up 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City, Koenig said he doesn’t view five to six years as a notable gap between albums. “Personally, I think it’s a dignified pace befitting a band that’s already placed three albums in stores, but everyone has their own sense of time,” he wrote. “I swear the time between three and four felt shorter to me than two and three. I may be in the minority on this one.” And with all things being relative, he wrote that creating FOTB didn’t take any longer than its predecessors; he did admit to taking a more leisurely pace when mixing and mastering the record though to spend time with family.
He also felt the need to justify releasing an 18-song album. “It’s a lot of songs but they all belong there,” he wrote. “If you disagree, you can always say it was six songs too long and make a lil’ 12-song playlist version of it. At first, I wanted to make two, 23-song albums on some human chromosome shit but then 23&me started doing Spotify playlists and, I don’t know … [I] felt we’d been scooped.”
Vampire Weekend’s last two albums have made it to Number One on the Billboard chart, and both have been certified gold. Their debut, 2008’s Vampire Weekend, is certified platinum.
View this post on Instagram
To the fans: I know that 5-6 years is considered a long time between records. Personally, I think it’s a dignified pace befitting a band that’s already placed three albums in stores but everyone has their own sense of time. (I swear the time between 3 & 4 felt shorter to me than 2 & 3. I may be in the minority on this one.) This album didn’t really take any longer to write/record than MVOTC. We just took more time on the front end to chill. I’ll admit I may have stretched out the mixing/mastering process (aka THE END) a little bit cuz spending half the day with my family & half the day at Ariel’s is my ideal life-rhythm & it’s painful to say goodbye to that rhythm. Many of you have been hungry for information and we’ve given you very little. I don’t like talking abt a project while in the middle of making it. I usually regret everything I say cuz it turns out to be wrong (so disregard anything I may have said in the past 5 years.) I thought abt making a recording diary to tide over the people leaving intense comments but…to me, the album IS the recording diary…man. It’s called “FOTB” (well those are the initials – that’s a VW tradition) and it’s 18 songs. Picked the name a few years ago. At some point early on, the album drifted from the Mitsubishi Macchiato aesthetic. It was a helpful guiding principle tho. Working titles are important too. It’s a lot of songs but they all belong there. (If you disagree, you can always say it was 6 songs too long & make a lil 12-song playlist version of it.) At first, I wanted to make two 23-song albums on some human chromosome shit but then 23&me started doing Spotify playlists and I don’t know…felt we’d been scooped. Is it a double album? The vinyl will be double so…yes? It’s about 59 minutes long. We can talk more abt that later – if u care. To me, it’s just FOTB. Anyway, we’re gonna start releasing music next week. After all that waiting, you should have the general schedule: -There will be three 2-song drops every month until the record is out. 1. hh/2021 2. s/bb 3. tl/uw. (plans can change that’s the plan) Thank you for ur patience, Ezra