I’ve been very confused lately. I just don’t understand how this has happened. How in the hell have I never listened to any of Vampire Weekend’s music until this last month? What on earth have I been listening to for the last two years?
My friend Erin and I have been on a bit of a concert kick this year. A sort of unofficial New Year’s resolution to see as many bands live this year as we possibly can – 2010: The Year of the Gig. Before we were off to see another great band, The Temper Trap, we were filling our evening with vodka and pizza and listening to music and Erin had put on some Vampire Weekend. Well damn! I love when you listen to something for the first time and it just fills you with this complete sense of joy and energy. So much fun! I knew she’d been a fan for a while and even had seen them live when they toured this year, but I had no idea what their sound was. I think in retrospect that I’d always been dismissive as I’d heard their name and thought they were some Twilight heavy emo-styled band. And now all I feel is a super case of jealousy. For if ever there was a band that is meant to be seen live – that is Vampire Weekend!
Formed by four fairly preppy-indie guys from Columbia University, Vampire Weekend’s music invokes old-school Paul Simon albums mixed with Afro-pop stylings. Their songs almost go hand-in-hand with Simon’s Graceland album. I’m not the most musically literate person on the planet, but if a song is catchy, has a great hook and crisp melodies, I’m sold. And Vampire Weekend fills that quota: fun, playful, and smart enough to pull it all off with aplomb.
Personal faves from their two albums, the self-titled Vampire Weekend (2008) and their latest Contra (2010), include M79, Walcott, Mansard Roof, Horchata and Holiday. There’s something about a cello solo in the middle of a song that is just fantastic!
Both albums are on heavy rotation on my iPod at the moment and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Their music simply makes me want to dance and spin – I may or may not have already freaked out a few people as I’ve walked home skipping and singing along to myself. I can’t wait until summer so I can listen to their albums as they really should be – out in the sunshine with a nice refreshing glass of Pimms in my hand.
I dare you to listen to Walcott and not want to dance!