Music Reviews: Phoenix and Vampire Weekend

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by Matt Nicolay

Bankrupt! | Phoenix
Phoenix, a French indie band, recently released their fifth studio album, Bankrupt! It offers a slight change to their sound, adding slightly more electronic-type elements. Their overall style of a chill indie sound is still present, though they have included more synthesizer, and a bit less guitar. The synthesizer and keyboard in general is obviously the leading instrument throughout the album. Throughout the album, their usual sound is apparent, but with distinct sounds for certain songs. “Chloroform” is distinct in that it has a certain groove to it throughout most of the song, and then changes the feel slightly during the bridge of the song. “Entertainment” and “The Real Thing” maintain the usual Phoenix sound the most, but “The Real Thing” is definitely softer than their usual approach to music. Overall, this album was wonderful to listen to, and I would recommend it to Phoenix fans and anyone who is interested in this type of music.

Modern Vampires of the City | Vampire Weekend
Formed while the members attended Columbia University in New York City, Vampire Weekend has finally released their third studio album, Modern Vampires of the City. Anyone who has listened to Vampire Weekend has probably noticed their somewhat strange, unique sound, and this album continues this trend, though it does change the sound slightly. One thing that is very noticeable is that the bass guitar is stressed throughout most of this album more so than in their previous two. Some songs stand out as exceptional and in their usage of a new sound. “Step” really stands out in its soft sound and stress of vocal harmonies, “Diane Young” makes use of an upbeat, poppy, and fast-paced tone, and “Unbelievers,” my personal favorite, uses a steady, yet somewhat quick beat, accompanied by a similar feel in the vocals and other instruments, making for a fun, upbeat song. I would say this album is an excellent addition to Vampire Weekend’s library of music, and it is certainly worth listening to.