Vampire Weekend’s newest music video, for their song “This Life,” prominently features a seder. Yes, you read that correctly: a seder. (Their last video, for “Sunflowers,” was an ode to the Jewish deli, directed by Jonah Hill, and featuring Jerry Seinfeld, so maybe this shouldn’t be such a shock.)
But first, some details: “This Life,” the third single off Father of the Bride, was produced by Ezra Koenig and Ariel Rechtshaid. The lyrics ruminate on life’s disappointments (“Baby, I know dreams tend to crumble at extremes/I just thought our dream would last a little bit longer”). The music video is directed by Emmett Malloy, and alongside the Vampire Weekend crew, it features Rechtshaid, Danielle Haim, Mark Ronson, Jovan Hill, Sophie, Despot, and Simi & Haze. It also builds up to a Passover dinner in Palm Springs, California (joining a long tradition of Passover in pop culture).
Okay, let’s break it down:
First we meet Wade, played by Kyle Field of Little Wings, who lives in the desert, is heavily bearded, and says he’s a people person. Danielle and Ariel get into his car. They start driving.
(Side note: we are in love with Danielle Haim!! Look at her! Can we be her?!)
Anyhoo, there’s a lot of driving, Ezra Koenig playing his guitar in the desert on what seems like a wind farm, close-up shots of Wade, Wade dancing, Wade picking up the future seder guests (including Jovan!), close-ups of the band, and more. Here’s Wade, for reference:
But what we’re here to talk about — besides Danielle Haim — is the seder itself.
The first shot we get is of Mark Ronson putting on a kippah:
Ronson, born in London to a Jewish family and raised in New York City, said in 2015, “I would never change or give a second thought to living life differently to the way I am. It is troubling, for sure; it’s really ugly, and terrible things are going on all over the world right now.”
He seems to be the one leading the seder, setting out the haggadahs on every plate.
(If you’re curious what haggadah they used, it seems to be this Goldberg Passover Haggadah! Of course we’re identifying the haggadah, who do you think we are?!)
He uncorks some wine:
And then we get to the seder. Ezra sits at the head of the table and sings:
And then we get close-ups of the kippah-clad seder attendees (including the women):
Here Ezra moodily sings “and all it’s suffering” as people cheers (l’chaim?) around him at the seder table. This gif is maybe the most accurate depiction of Jewish holidays we’ve ever seen! Suffering and joy!
And then, Wade pulls up to the house, walks in, and sits down next to Mark Ronson. He takes off his hat and puts on a kippah.
Is Wade Elijah!? (We’ll get back to this.)
Mark Ronson gives a toast:
Wade then takes a swig of wine, stands up, and says, “I’m kind of a loner. But I’m also sort of a people person.” People cheer, and he starts to tear up.
More importantly: Is he drinking out of Elijah’s cup!?
In Jewish tradition, at the Passover seder, families pour a glass of wine for the prophet Elijah and open the door for him. It has come to be seen as “a celebration of future redemption.”
And so, could it be we are meant to interpret our bearded desert-driver Wade as some version of Elijah? And if so, what is he redeeming us from? And where did Ezra hide the afikomen?
Who knows, just watch:
Also, be prepared for some Jewish Vampire Weekend merch in the future. During Passover, Ezra Koenig posted this on his Instagram story:
Honestly, would wear.