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Vampire Weekend Hits On Complicated Relationships And Identity

Vampire Weekend
Monika Mogi
/
Courtesy of the artist
Vampire Weekend

Today, we've got an interview with Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig about the band's latest album,Father of the Bride.

"There is something that truly unites all good songwriting," Ezra tells Talia Schlanger. "It's a type of wit, it's a way with words, it's poetry, it's a sense of humor."

All of those elements are present on this record: It's an ambitious collection of 18 songs filled with stories about complicated relationships and identity.Father of the Brideis also the first Vampire Weekend record since founding member and multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij announced that he was no longer a member of the band back in 2016.

Ezra Koenig is joined by some guests on the album, folks like Steve Lacy from the band The Internet and vocalist Danielle Haim (from the eponymous band). The latter starts our session off on the opening track, "Hold You Now," a song inspired, in part, by classic country duets stylized by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn as well as George Jones and Tammy Wynette.

Our interview with Ezra Koenig was recorded backstage before a gig at The Mann Music Center in Philadelphia with our former host Talia Schlanger. It's one of the last things Talia did before she said goodbye last month. Hear it all in the player above.

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Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.
Since 2017, John Myers has been the producer of NPR's World Cafe, which is produced by WXPN at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Previously he spent about eight years working on the other side of Philly at WHYY as a producer on the staff of Fresh Air with Terry Gross. John was also a member of the team of public radio veterans recruited to develop original programming for Audible and has worked extensively as a freelance producer. His portfolio includes work for the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, The Association for Public Art and the radio documentary, Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio. He's taught radio production to preschoolers and college students and, in the late 90's, spent a couple of years traveling around the country as a roadie for the rock band Huffamoose.