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Vampire Weekend

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iTunes Review

Ok, this might be a new one. Take one part chamber pop (violins, harpsichord, polyphonic arrangements), a dash of ‘80s new-wave/reggae beats (The Police, Talking Heads, English Beat), and the twinkle and pop of African hi-life guitars and drumming. the result is a band who is gleefully making distinctive-sounding pop music with clever lyrics, the pulse of which happens to come from a few global sources near and dear to the musicians’ hearts. Why not take Afro-pop and reggae and blend it with white boy dance pop? David Bryne doesn’t own the patent!  “Mansard Roof,” “Oxford Comma,” “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” and “A-Punk” are standouts, bubbly and playful and irresistibly twitchy. Others, such as “I Stand Corrected” and “Campus,” are a bit more restrained, and feel more mature and original. Vampire Weekend built up a buzz on the internet before releasing this debut collection, and now must live up to the scrutiny that inevitably follows the build-up. While backlash is always part of the process, this release should hold up just fine.

Customer Reviews

"Like a musical Natalie Portman"

Vampire Weekend are great fun. The music is pop, it's "afrobeat" (it's nothing new, but it IS different to most of what's out there) and this NYC foursome don't take themselves too seriously. Tremendous power hooks, short snappy songs you can sing along too, and lots of great rhythms. In terms of hype, I haven't seen a New York band get this much early attention since the first Strokes CD. It's comparable in quality, too. Download A-Punk, The Kids Don't Stand A Chance, Walcott and Oxford Comma for good examples, but there isn't really a bad track on here. It's short, fun, clever and exciting. Like a musical Natalie Portman. Now please buy it, and support good new music.

Catchiest Record of the Year

Vampire Weekend looked to be another in a long line of NME darlings who would be tossed aside a few weeks after their debut album tried (and probably failed) to capture the lives of a generation and became a royal flop. It didn't help that a lot of a potential audience were pushed in completely the wrong direction when iTunes decided to give away 'Mansard Roof' as a Free Single of the Week (it is undisputably the weakest song on here, thankfully the rest are of a noticeably higher calibre). Using a sound the Weekend have christened 'Upper West Side Soweto', a charming fusion of afro-beat and indie rock in the vein of the Police and XTC, aswell as their own charming quirkiness, this new band from New York have produced something very different indeed. Strong on power pop hooks, short, sharp tunes that captivate for the smallest periods of time (but this is a good thing) and lyrics which are almost impossibly clever, Vampire Weekend deserve to enjoy as much success and praise as they can get: and with a set as strong as this, they don't need to worry about validating it. Download: A-Punk, Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, The Kids Don't Stand a Chance, Campus

Get this

Take Paul Simon/afro beats, Strokes, Arcade Fire, Police, reggae keys, warm strings, Police/Coldplay vocals into an empty music hall with an old piano and squeeze into a ball of punchy positive energy: Mansard Roof: Could hear Amy Winehouse covering this: Perfect pop opener Oxford Comma: The money shot, as catchy as they come: This will stomp the charts A-Punk: The Arctics in Africa sporting mohawks with 70s flutey medieval interludes: Pretty timeless Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa: Paul Simon riff with an Arcade Fire passion in vocals: Lovely M79: late 60s/70s folk strings with The Police seams in the vocals/riffs. Bowie moments when they reach: Epic Campus: The Strokes with a normal microphone in a chilly music hall: Nice Bryn: Gaelic Paul Simon/fro-beat with Coldplay vocals in the Flight of the Conchords acid trip: Yeah One (Blake's got a new face) : Synthtastic bop with howling monkey moments. Not sure what is going on: Like it though I stand corrected: Build quality and passion of Arcade Fire without weighing heavily: Quietly walks away with it Walcott: Band end up back in music hall at 4am and bash out a beauty on the keys/strings, but someone forgets to pick up the guitar: A climax it lacks The Kids don't stand a chance: Marley gets to meet The Police and someone turns up at the end with a Balalaika: God bless these kids


Formed: 2006 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Mixing preppy, well-read indie rock with joyful, Afro-pop-inspired melodies and rhythms, Vampire Weekend grew from one of the first bands to be championed by music bloggers into a Grammy Award-winning act that helped define the sound of the 2010s. Hailing from New York City, Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio, Rostam Batmanglij, and Chris Tomson formed the band early in 2006, when they were finishing up their studies at Columbia University. Taking their name from a short film Koenig made during his freshman...
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