Vampire Weekend

October 25, 2007

Vampire Weekend are a band that sound as if Paul Simon had started writing songs for the Walkmen, and David Byrne had signed them to Luaka Bop. Self-described as “preppy African music” (not exactly sure what that means, but see the video clip below), Vampire Weekend play catchy ivy league pop infused with a healthy dose of World Music. If Wes Anderson played in a band, for some reason one might guess that it would be this one.

Vampire Weekend (along with every other band currently in existence) recently played during the CMJ Music Marathon prior to leaving for a European tour. As one of the current up-and-coming next-big buzz acts, considerable attention has been suddenly focused on Vampire Weekend (their pedigrees, cirriculum vitae and formidable grooming habits, in particular). Although the band isn’t scheduled to release their debut record until January 2008, you can get a preview of all the goodness there is to come as a 2-song single released on XL Records this week called, “Mansard Roof/Ladies of Cambridge.”

Predictably, all is already lost for these fine, educated young men. A theme has already emerged: “Well, their earlier stuff is better…” Well, for fuck’s sake. This isn’t Voxtrox in shorthand. I mean, can the statement even be made given the band has about six songs officially out there crawling the world wide web? (This single is 33.3% of their released material.)

I’d encourage all the haters to give the single a second listen. “Mansard Roof” is a short, bubbly tune that makes reference to an architectural style and incorporates the crossword favorite, “eaves” into it’s lyrics. “Ladies of Cambridge” is the stronger of the two songs, which starts a little ska and for some reason vaguely recalls Billy Joel’s, “Only the Good Die Young.” It’s alternating keyboards and strings will make you smile and sad, just as if you were watching (appropriately) Love Story.

While admittedly neither song is as immediately satisfying as “Oxford Comma,” it’s really not as bad as all that. I’m for one still looking forward to the record in ’08. So guys, keep the shirts tucked and pressed.

Here’s an interview courtesy of Philebrity.

Listen: “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” or visit the fine folks at for “Oxford Comma.”

In addition, here’s the Vampire Weekend Daytrotter Session.

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