Ezra Koenig guested on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show yesterday (Sept. 19) and though the crux of the talk was his new animated Netflix series Neo Yokio, the conversation naturally drifted to the upcoming Vampire Weekend album.
The indie-pop band’s long-anticipated fourth LP is most definitely in the works, despite fans’ worry that the band would never return as they haven’t released music in four years. “I feel like it’s close to being done,” Koenig told the Apple Music host. “There’s not too many other ways I can say it.”
Getting into specifics would have been one way, but Koenig wasn’t keen to talk individual songs, target dates, or anything like that. “Gun to my head,” he noted that enough is completed (about 80%) to release some sort of an album now, if he really had to. Hearing something new on his Beats 1 show Time Crisis wouldn’t be too surprising.
He did mention that “quite a cast of characters” would be involved, a stark change-up from the first three VW albums, all without features and produced by in-house (ex-)member Rostam Batmanglij, though 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City did feature some production from alt-pop maestro Ariel Rechtshaid. It certainly sounds like he’s involved again (“Been in with Ariel a lot lately”) and BloodPop (of notable Grimes, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga collaborations) appears a distinct possibility, too. Lowe brought him up specifically, to which Koenig replied, “Maybe a little maybe a little bit of that.”
Will Batmanglij contribute towards the new album? The former member declined comment in a recent interview with Billboard, and Koenig didn’t reveal anything to Lowe, so we’ll just have to wait on that count.
As for the long-teased, impossibly Vampire Weekend-sounding title Mitsubishi Macchiato, it appears that’s just a working title. Koenig clarified as such and mentioned there’s “a strong contender for like the real name.”
In the mean time, Neo Yokio, the Anime-influenced series Koenig worked on with Jaden Smith, Jude Law, and others, is set to debut Friday (Sept. 22). Get the details on that here.