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With “Unbelievers,” Vampire Weekend harnesses inner turmoil in a sunny package

In Hear ThisA.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, with June just heating up, we asked: What song says “summer” to you so far this year?

Hands down, I think my favorite record so far this year is Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires Of The City, and by far, my favorite track off that LP is “Unbelievers.” I listen to it several times a day, and I find it stuck in my head constantly. At only three minutes and 20 seconds long, it’s the perfect length for a summer jam, and its propulsive beat and talk about sinners, saints, and being “bound to the tracks of the train” would make it seem almost Springsteen-esque, if it weren’t so damn cheery. Even the bridge, about pondering whether a lackluster life is the fate the world has planned, is positively sunny, though the lyrics are cloaked in a definite sense of despair. That’s perfect, though. That’s all I want from a summer song, really: inner turmoil wrapped in an upbeat tune I can blast out of the car window.