Pick of the Week: Vampire Weekend “Capricorn”

A drawing of the top half of the moon with the capricorn star sign overlayed. Above the image, text reads "Vampire Weekend, Capricorn"). In the bottom right corner, there is a guitar pick with the text "WERS 88.9 FM Pick of the Week"
Graphics by Rebecca Calvar

By Avieana Rivera, Staff Writer

In the lead single for their fifth album, Vampire Weekend slows it down, taking on a steady beat and delaying the action that typically jumps right out at you in their music until later in the song. In “Capricorn,” the band expresses a mid-life crisis, singing of getting lost in time and searching for moments and purposes of their own. The song offers no answers, but instead guides you through the unknown with reassurance. 



“Capricorn” starts off like any other rock ballad. The song opens with smooth, polished instrumentals and lyrics of defeat, “Can't reach the moon now, can't turn the tide. The world looked different when God was on your side.” As the song builds, the lyrics become more encouraging. Towards the second chorus, the song takes on this eerie almost screeching sound in the background, juxtaposing the previously fairly calm instrumentals. This shift marks a turning point in the song, with the screeching becoming gradually louder and the instrumentals getting more and more disheveled. The screeching, sounding almost subway-like, grows into a pulsating flash and marvelously calls back to the music video. 



The music video which corresponds with the new release was directed by Nick Harwood and features archival footage from artist Steven Siegel, who has documented scenes from New York City since the ’80s. In it, scenes flash between the daily commotion of life in New York and a broken, empty, almost dystopian city. The video opens with the band in a trashed, zero-gravity subway car, and regularly switches between utopia and dystopia. However, while they’re in the “utopia” that is supposed to be NYC, there is still a dark reality lurking under the surface. The people are mannequins, contain nonhuman qualities or seem to be running from something that we cannot see. 

The video is shot on grainy film that often shows holes or underdeveloped edges. The screeching sounds similarly mark a turning point in the music video, where the people get stranger and the film gets grainier. The video quickly flips through a mix of outwardly scenes, while the film gets increasingly harder to see. In this sequence, the band hint’s at their newest album, displaying the title, Only God Was Above Us.


“Capricorn,” along with the band’s other just-released single “Gen-X Cops,” come years in the making with the band’s last album Father of the Bride having made its debut in 2019. Vampire Weekend has been teasing new music since 2021, leaving fans anxiously awaiting this release for the past three years. The ten-song record will be released on April 5th. 

Luckily for the fans, this announcement also comes along with a tour promoting the album. Before the tour officially kicks off, Vampire Weekend will be playing a solar eclipse show in Austin. Then, the band will take off in June for four months of stops across the US and Canada, joined by the band Cults. You can catch them right here in Boston on September 27th at TD Garden!


Every Monday, our music staff brings you a new Pick of The Week, detailing some of our favorite songs. Check out our previous Picks of the Week here, and make sure to tune in to WERS 88.9FM!

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