Album: Modern Vampires of the City (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • This track has a Hip-Hop element. Singer Ezra Koenig told NME: "It's a sample from a (rapper) YZ song, and I came to know his lyrics through a Souls Of Mischief song called 'Step To My Girl' – and the melody they sampled is from a '70s song called ' Aubrey' by Bread."
  • The song concludes with a low-pitch vocal similar to that of New York MC A$AP Rocky. Digital Spy asked guitarist/keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij if it was inspired by the rapper? He replied: "We've worked on music for a long time together and we've experimented with pitching down vocals a bunch. It's not something that's inspired us recently; we've done it for ten years, if you could dig up all our experiments together!"

    Asked if this meant Vampire Weekend were A$AP Rocky before he was, Batmanglij laughed and continued: "Yeah. That's not to say he doesn't bring his own style and courage to the way he does it. I think he's pushing boundaries with the extent to which he's doing it. But yeah, it's nothing new."
  • Batmanglij told NME: "That song is about people who can be possessive over music they love, and it's also about other songs."
  • Koenig told the story of the song to MTV News: "That song started through this Souls of Mischief rarity, called 'Step To My Girl;' I discovered it and I really liked the line 'Every time I see you in the world. You always step to my girl,' so I found myself writing some other melodies and lyrics, writing this other song inspired by it," he explained. "And then Rostam cooked up these harpsichord parts, these new harmonic identities for it. And then we went backwards, and we had to find out who wrote that line, it got even more interesting, because it turns out Souls of Mischief didn't write that line, that actually came from this other guy, YZ ... so it was kind of perfect, because that's how everything is, throughout time, ideas take on new forms."
  • Rapper Danny Brown featured on a remix of this song. He told NME about the collaboration: "I've been a fan of theirs for a nice length of time now," he said. "I'm always talking about them - maybe they got wind of it! It was all done over email. I met Ezra at A-Trak's house for a Christmas party one time. Were cool!"
  • Speaking in an interview with The Irish Times, Koenig said that Vampire Weekend do collages rather than tell stories. He cited this song's hook as an example.

    "The chorus is just a series of little phrases: 'the gloves are off, the wisdom teeth are out,'" Koenig explained. "That's a collage, two little clichéd phrases stuck together that creates a feeling, maybe about aging, maybe about a relationship to music. But it's a feeling that is bigger than its units."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Ian Astbury of The Cult

Ian Astbury of The CultSongwriter Interviews

The Cult frontman tells who the "Fire Woman" is, and talks about performing with the new version of The Doors.

Mike Campbell

Mike CampbellSongwriter Interviews

Mike is lead guitarist with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and co-writer of classic songs like "Boys Of Summer," "Refugee" and "The Heart Of The Matter."

Richie McDonald of Lonestar

Richie McDonald of LonestarSongwriter Interviews

Richie talks about the impact of "Amazed," and how his 4-year-old son inspired another Lonestar hit.

Glen Burtnik

Glen BurtnikSongwriter Interviews

On Glen's résumé: hit songwriter, Facebook dominator, and member of Styx.

Gary Brooker of Procol Harum

Gary Brooker of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer and pianist for Procol Harum, Gary talks about finding the musical ideas to match the words.

Tanita Tikaram

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.