Hey all… here’s my take on the new Vampire Weekend album, Contra. You can also find this review in the current issue of prairie dog magazine.
In 2008, New York City quartet Vampire Weekend charmed the keffiyeh scarf crowd with their eponymous debut, a quirky blend of indie rock, African beats and literate lyrics. On their sophomore release, the band continues to mine similar terrain, producing deftly written pop tunes with world music touches. Ezra Koenig and Rostam Batmanglij prove themselves to be inventive guitarists on the wiry, exuberant “Cousins”, which recalls the famed Congolese bandleader Franco and his group OK Jazz. On the languid “Diplomat’s Son”, they experiment with rocksteady and reggae. Some critics have given Vampire Weekend shit for appropriating these sounds. But really, this group is the natural byproduct of a generation that has grown up with a vast array of music at its fingertips, thanks to technology. And it’s exciting to hear bands taking inspiration from a variety of sources, paying little heed to the boundaries of genre.