Vampire Weekend have heard the Paul Simon comparisons one or two thousand times before, so it makes sense that frontman Ezra Koenig would record a version “Papa Hobo,” from Simon’s self-titled 1972 solo album. Give it a listen here:
Like Simon’s original version of the song, Koenig’s take is a low-key shuffle that features some hearty acoustic plucking and swampy accents from a ramshackle collection of background instruments (there may or may not be a mouth harp in there somewhere). Koenig doesn’t stray far from the original, which wraps a simple melody around a narrative about a kid growing up in Detroit.
Koenig recorded the song specifically for the soundtrack to the upcoming film Ceremony, a new film starring Uma Thurman and Michael Angarano that, based on the trailer, seems to channel the same kind of quirky prep-school energy that informs Vampire Weekend’s whole aesthetic.
The film features score work from Eric Johnson (the mastermind behind indie favorites Fruit Bats) and also contains like-minded tracks from Pete Townshend, Ringo Starr, and Van Dyke Parks.