Indie rock darlings Vampire Weekend got my $11 and I couldn't be happier. I picked up their self-titled debut album today on my lunch break and I am really digging it. Self described "Upper West Side Soweto," the album is a mix of African beats, classical string arrangements and quirky lyrics. Think Graceland meets Tchaikovsky while getting drunk at some bar on the Lower East Side.
I read about them briefly on Stereogum and then saw their "A Punk" video on Spinner.com. I guess it was the blogs that broke them, but what got me was seeing their very cool album posters up all over the city on Monday. What can I say I'm a sucker for good cover art -- an ever-declining group of folks these days I'm afraid. I was drawn to the pink washed out front cover Polaroid style shot of a chandelier above a group of party goers. Not sure why, but it made me take notice and then connect the dots back to some of the blog stories I read about earlier. I fell right into the record company's marketing trap. They got me.
The songs are about relationships while referencing architecture, grammar and Cape Cod. Very odd indeed, but very appealing. Vampire Weekend is made up of a group of friends that met while attending Columbia. They've put together a really unusual and, in my opinion, a must-have album for the new year. The blogs have already begun anticipating the backlash to come as this little indie band breaks big and people are already sure they'll fade away like all the other buzz bands before them. I'm not so sure. Regardless of all that, I think it's worth enjoying now.
Check out the video for "A Punk" video below for a glimpse into their quirky world.