Harmony Hall

Album: Father of the Bride (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • This spiralling song was the first single released by Vampire Weekend since "Unbelievers" was dropped in 2013. A 5-minute tune that retains the band's spring-like signature sound, it was written by frontman Ezra Koenig and produced by the singer with their usual collaborator Ariel Rechtshaid. Vampire Weekend's former multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij supplied additional production.
  • The song is about how feelings can change over time. It kicks off with Koenig declaring:

    We took a vow in summertime
    Now we find ourselves in late December
    I believe that New Year's Eve
    Will be the perfect time for their great surrender
    But they don't remember


    Koenig explained the lyric in a Beats 1 interview, saying: "There was something about taking a vow in summertime and now it's the end of the year, that there was like a feeling I related to."
  • The song title features in the first line of the chorus.

    And the stone walls of Harmony Hall bear witness

    The lyric likely refers to the undergraduate dormitory building of the same name situated at Ezra Koenig's Alma Mater of Columbia University.
  • The chorus also includes an interpolation of the lyric, "I don't wanna live like this, but I don't wanna die," originally found in the band's Modern Vampires Of The City track "Fingers Back."
  • Another Vampire Weekend song whose title references Koenig's time at Columbia is "Hannah Hunt" (she was a classmate of his).
  • The song's music video was directed by Emmett Malloy, who has previously helmed visuals for Vampire Weekend's singles "Holiday" and "Giving Up the Gun." Malloy has also shot music clips for The White Stripes, Weezer, and Metallica.

    The video stars Ezra Koenig hosting a cooking show while a green coiled snake crawls around the kitchen. The reptile also appears on the single's cover and is referenced in the song's lyrics.

    Anybody with a worried mind can never forgive the sight
    Of wicked snakes inside a place you thought was dignified


    Later, we see Vampire Weekend performing the song in a candlelit room. Actor and director Jonah Hill makes a brief appearance at the end of the clip.
  • The song climbed to #1 on the Adult Alternative Songs tally dated March 2, 2019. It was Vampire Weekend's first ever visit to the summit of a Billboard airplay chart.

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