Ezra Koenig Admits "Ladies of Cambridge" Should Have Been on Vampire Weekend's Debut Album

Also known as "Boston," the song was cut from the final tracklist

Photo: Stephen McGill

BY Alex HudsonPublished Jul 3, 2024

Many bands have a few good songs that get discarded along the way. Red Hot Chili Peppers have admitted that they were wrong for not including "Soul to Squeeze" on an album, and now Vampire Weekend have expressed similar regret about their early lost song "Ladies of Cambridge" (a.k.a. "Boston").

"Ladies of Cambridge" was on the original version of Vampire Weekend's debut album that circulated on blogs in the aughts. By the time Vampire Weekend officially released the self-titled LP in 2008, however, the song had been axed.

"We cut the song 'Boston' from the album — which is a really good song, we probably could have left it — and we added 'M79' and 'I Stand Corrected,'" frontman Ezra Koenig explained to Rick Rubin on the latest episode of the producer's Tetragrammaton podcast.

Koenig and Rubin then listened to a live recording of "Boston" from the era. "I don't think we needed to cut this from the first album," Koenig admitted, before adding that its omission did have the silver lining of making the LP more concise: "I guess it made the first album even shorter and punchier. It's 11 songs versus 12, so maybe it's a good thing."

Maybe it's not too late for "Boston" — in the same interview, Koenig recalled how "Hannah Hunt," from 2013's Modern Vampires of the City, was an early song that he wrote before the band formed, but it wasn't until years later that he figured out how to properly arrange it.

"It can be incredibly depressing," Koenig said of struggling to find a song's arrangement. "Nobody did anything wrong, but it's still a bad feeling, when you start to realize: 'Wait, I thought this was a good song, but as we jam on it, it just feels so off.' And then I started to realize what's obvious now, which is that, yeah, some songs you start with a bunch of musicians in the room, and some you don't want a drum set anywhere in sight, because you want to be so quiet and you want to listen to the snare sample off the speakers."

Under the name "Ladies of Cambridge," "Boston" is available as a stand-alone single on streaming services, dating back to 2007. It was also included on an expanded Japanese version of the debut album. Hear it below.

Tour Dates

Latest Coverage