Ezra Koenig is featured in two new releases this week. The new music video for SBTRKT’s “New Dorp New York” has arrived, providing chance to revisit the single that proceeded their Wonder Where We Land (which arrives October 7th). Vampire Weekend’s lead singer featured on the song, putting his unique touch on the metro jungle-y beat. The music video features the animated beast from the album cover, roaming streets and shadowy alleys. Watch it here.
The track is one of the most popular non-Vampire Weekend songs Koenig has featured on (including 2013’s “Jessica” by Major Lazer).“New Dorp New York” showcases Koenig’s penchant for smooth rambles and flowing articulation. As demonstrated on some of Vampire Weekend’s other tracks (whether fast rhythms like “Oxford Comma” and “Worship You” or slower numbers like “Step” and “Everlasting Arms”), he’s maintained that technique, and it’s making him a popular choice for a guest artist. SBTRKT’s new single also includes elements of Vampire Weekend’s most trademark topics (an illusive girl, New York, etc).
Also this week, a short story Koenig wrote in 2006 during his time at Columbia University was revealed. “Off The Grid,” while it’s definitely collegiate, showcases some of Koenig’s distinct style. Five paragraphs in all, the themes are there – love, identity, a little ambiguous frustration, and New York. Here’s an excerpt that sounds like some of his lyrics: “Because of its mysterious brevity, the experience proved to be more of a nuisance than an enlightenment. She spent the majority of the next few months in her dorm room agonizing over which major to choose.”
The format of this newly discovered story is not surprising after considering “Finger Back,” (from Modern Vampires of the City).In the bridge of that song, he gives a little anecdote: “Cause this Orthodox girl fell in love with the guy at the falafel shop. And why not? Should she have averted her eyes and just stared at the laminated poster of the Dome of the Rock?” This singular bit is a little cryptic and has inspired plenty of internet speculations, but its style is comparable to both “New Dorp New York” and “Off The Grid.” In lieu of this discovery, some fans (via social media) are already hoping Koenig begins to write more short pieces and essays. Koenig has neither responded nor commented.