This NY four-piece draw on their diverse backgrounds and interests, experimenting with African guitar music, the Western classical canon, hazy memories of Cape Cod summers, winters in upper Manhattan, and reggaeton. "Equal parts shruggy New York indie strumming and groovy Afro-pop, Vampire Weekend's organ-and-drum runs highlight narratives about relationships, punctuation, and sometimes both" - Spin. Named "Hot New Kids" in Rolling Stone's "Hot" issue. Vinyl contains MP3 coupon.
It would take a lot for Vampire Weekend's debut to rise above the stench of privileged hype that surrounds it. A bunch of kids who formed the band in their Columbia dorm room borrow wholesale from Afrobeat and angular '80s stuff, and they quickly become an online buzz band before releasing a single album? Thankfully the record, and the band, are great fun: playful, pop-wise, and smart enough to pull their shtick off with aplomb. Organ and drums are often the focal point of the music, bringing to mind a goofier, happier Clinic (if that group's record-collecting habits were more scattershot). On the excellently named (and better sounding) "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," Vampire Weekend asks, "Does it feel so unnatural / To Peter Gabriel too?," immediately disarming--with self-aware brazenness--any criticism of their pomo/postcolonialist borrowing of "ethnic" music. It's clear that these dudes have not only inherited the nerd-rock omnivore's mantle from the Talking Heads, they've actually and already improved upon it. --Mike McGonigal