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Watch Vampire Weekend Showcase ‘Mary Boone’ on ‘The Daily Show’

Vampire Weekend stopped by The Daily Show to perform their recent song, “Mary Boone,” and to chat with host Michael Kosta. During the artsy performance, frontman Ezra Koenig sat on a stool in front of the other musicians, who were accompanied by a choir as footage of New York City played behind them.

“Mary Boone” comes off the rock band’s new LP, Only God Was Above Us, which is out now. During the interview, the musicians discussed the album, as well as their newly-launched podcast Vampire Campfire, which finds Koenig talking with bandmates Chris Baio and Chris Tomson around a campfire.

The band took inspiration for Only God Was Above Us from 20th century New York City and recorded it in Manhattan, Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo. The group’s Ezra Koenig, who wrote the lyrics in 2019 and 2020, produced the album with longtime collaborator Ariel Rechtshaid.

“We were lucky that we found the cover early in the process and it’s this amazing photo taken by a guy named Steven Siegel, who took all these amazing pictures in 1988,” Koenig explained of the album. “The images were all taken in what he described as a subway graveyard, so all the cars were overturned… It was such a good image [that] I kept thinking, ‘Where’s “Vampire Weekend” going to go?’ and then realized ‘Why ruin this beautiful image?’ The only text on the screen is a newspaper, which is a ‘Daily News’ headline: Only God Was Above Us.”

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Koenig also explained that “Mary Boone” is about an “important figure” in the downtown New York art world in the ’80s. “This song is kind of about people coming to the city trying to make it,” he said. “I kind of picture the person singing the song as addressing her. Like an artist or something who wants to take it to the next level.”

Earlier this week, Vampire Weekend joined the Coachella lineup as a last-minute addition. The band will play on the Outdoor Theatre stage on Saturday at 5 p.m, marking the group’s return to the festival after more than a decade. The group previously performed at Coachella in 2008, 2010, and 2013.

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