Song of the Day: Vampire Weekend “Hannah Hunt”
April 13, 2016
“…it seems like Vampire Weekend’s entire career thus far has led to this one song” reads the Pitchfork review of Modern Vampires of the City regarding “Hannah Hunt”, the sixth track on the Vampire Weekend’s third album. It’s easy to see why statements such as Pitchfork’s can be made. “Hannah Hunt” is now the definitive Vampire Weekend song now, kicking “A-Punk”, arguably the band’s most successful song to date, off the throne.
No other song in Vampire Weekend’s discography has the depth of “Hannah Hunt.” The song paints a picture in your head: a couple going on a cross-country roadtrip, simultaneously wrestling with faith, financial issues, hard-times, and relationship problems. The story is told beautifully through the lyrics, referencing crawling vines, weeping willows, the New York Times being used as kindling for a fire, the hidden eyes of religion, and the freezing-cold beaches of Santa Barbara.
While the lyrics are thought-provoking and emotional, the music itself is another thing in itself. The first two minutes and forty seconds are relatively calm, guided by the deep, subtle notes coming from bassist Chris Baio and the piano from the band’s former multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij. The calm produced by the bass and piano notes is accompanied by Ezra Koenig’s soft, almost hum-like singing. The 2:40 mark of “Hannah Hunt” is when the song erupts into a dizzying, beautiful, and more energetic melody, which becomes more intense with Koenig’s singing (which is almost a shout) at the chorus.
When “Hannah Hunt” is performed live, the energy and emotion running through the crowd from the pit section to seats is electric. It’s a special song that can make people feel a variety of different ways, but the universal pure beauty of “Hannah Hunt” can be appreciated by everyone.