Performance Review: Vampire Weekend ft HAIM – This Life

In the wake of the recent release of their album Father of the Bride, Vampire Weekend recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to perform ‘This Life’, one of the singles from the album. Performing alongside them was American pop-rock trio HAIM, consisting of sisters Alana, Este and Danielle Haim, the latter of which is featured three times on Father of the Bride.

From the opening chords, it becomes clear that this song plays with brighter, bouncier tones than previous works, with echoes of Van Morrison in its loose bass. However, the upbeat sound of the song is undercut by the uneasy, self-reflective lyrics (“But I’ve been cheating through this life/And all its suffering/Oh Christ, /Am I good for nothing?”) that evaluate his own part in a decaying relationship, offering layers to a song that may easily be dismissed as catchy radio material.

Between Koenig’s own questioning of himself and the harmonious vocal accompaniment of the HAIM sisters, the overall effect is a song that is aware of – and plays with – its own stark truths and uncertainties. When combined with the relaxed, free-spirited performance given on The Tonight Show, it’s hard to see how anyone could walk away from this performance without at least a piqued interest in Vampire Weekend’s work.

And, of course, the excellently coordinated pantsuits that the HAIM girls rock don’t hurt either!

[Rebecca Gault – she/her – @rebeccagault7]

[Photo credit: Andrew Lipovski]

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