Vampire Weekend drummer goes solo on ‘Youngish American’

This is the first studio album by Christ Tomson. (Photo provided by 30th Century Records)

Christopher Romano
Connector Staff

In 2013, Vampire Weekend released their third album “Modern Vampires of The City.” Since the end of the tour supporting their most successful album yet, each band member has worked on other side projects.

Chris Baio, the bass player, has released dance music under his last name. Rostam Batmanglij, producer and more, has left the band to work on a solo career. The front man, Ezra Koenig, has collaborated with artists like Karen O, Chromeo, and Beyoncé.

Chris Tomson, the drummer, has become the last member of Vampire Weekend to release solo work. With the help of Patrick Carney of The Black Keys and Danger Mouse, Dams of The West was created. With “Youngish American,” Tomson breaks away from the sound Vampire Weekend has cemented.

“Youngish American” is an album about exactly that. Tomson explores what it means to be a young 30-something-year-old American. The first single from the album, “Death Wish,” gave insight into what the album would be like. Tomson describes how being a young American on his own is liberating, while still responsibly tackling daily life. He says, “I think I’m ready to be a father now / but I wanna get some pizza first.”

Tomson’s debut as a solo artist is a fun, introspective yet relatable album that feels wholesome. Though many of the stories told are personal to Tomson, they hit upon what aging millennials are feeling as they reach their young thirties. On “The Inerrancy of You and Me,” he says “When we fight at the Home Depot / it’s never really about what kind of tile works for the kitchen floor / we just want to see if we still love one another / and if we ever miss having fun with that old sense of abandon anymore.”

While it cannot be said how many couples are fighting at the Home Depot, this addresses the notion that young couples argue over mundane subjects just because they can. Millennial listeners can really relate to the ideas brought to the table on this album. Through sharing his own experiences, Tomson has crafted an album in which he presents the idea that love and marriage are difficult, but also crazy and fun. Millennials all go through the same types of situations in love and life.

Tomson was not known for his singing with Vampire Weekend since he was the drummer. Listeners have been missing out. Tomson delivers a smooth and refreshing voice that compliments his story telling. His voice really comes out on “Polo Grounds” and “Flag on the Can.”

While Tomson is new to singing on a record, his drumming is as strong as ever. The songs on this album are mostly rhythm oriented with the bass lines dancing around what the drums are doing.

Some songs, like the title track, “Youngish American,” focus more on a reverb drenched piano to drive the song. The song builds for about five minutes before drums and a crunchy bass line also appear. The album comes to a finish on a high note with this song. The longest song on the album fades into nothingness as the album comes to an end.

“Youngish American” was released on Feb. 24 via Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records.

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