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By editor on 27.2.2024

Album Review – Vampire Weekend

The dangerous and often unseemly world of the internet has had a love affair with Vampire Weekend. Ever since a CD-R demo featuring a trio of Vampire Weekend tracks capitulated its way around the wires last year, the elitist geeks who rule Pitchfork and other lofty musically minded sites have been hot fussing over Vampire Weekend. On listening to Vampire Weekend’s self tiled debut, it’s not hard to understand why.

The four Columbia University graduates are a fresh and breezy, afro-beat tinged indie band. They are a million miles from England’s current crop of NME endorsed try hard indie scene urchins. Vampire Weekend make the creation of a great pop record sound embarrassingly straightforward.

Vampire Weekend’s simple, easy on the ear debut, showcases a fine palette of pretty pop songs. Opener Mansard Roof’s guitars glides back and forth serenely, Oxford Comma has the amusing verbal hook ‘Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?’ and shows lead singer Ezra Koenig’s, talent as an eloquent observer of social anomalies, in much the same way that the Arctic Monkey’s Alex Turner is great at elucidating society’s underbelly with his wry, Northern disdain.

Another stand out track is Walcott, a lilting semi-ballad, resplendent with chiming pianos, zig-zagging strings and smashing percussion. One of the main benefits of Vampire Weekend’s enjoyment of African pop music is the way they’ve learned to mesh their instruments together in harmony, so that the drums complement the bass, the vocals seduce the guitars, and generally every sound runs together as smooth as the alphabet.

In parts Vampire Weekend sound like Arcade Fire on happy drugs, or even Death Cab for Cutie on safari, other reviewers have compared them to a clean cut version of the Strokes, which is fair, considering they’re both New York bands, and their first records are both underlined by their simplicity, and furthermore exonerated by their freshness.

This is a warm and carefully crafted debut, etherised in preppy effortlessness, and one that I can’t see anyone disliking. It helps that they’re handsome, well dressed and educated, but all that really matters how beautifully Vampire Weekend jive, this is the finest indie debut in years.


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