MUSIC REVIEW | Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (2008)

Vampire Weekend is a band that almost perfectly sums why I started writing about music.  After consuming everything and anything in the 90s, and always being pretty up to date with the latest releases, without even trying, I fell into a comfortable rut and spent the last 15 or so years listening to the same bands and albums over and over, instead of taking many chances on anything new.

Even if I didn’t like Vampire Weekend, they’re the kind of band I would have been intrigued by and at least given a chance back in the day, the second they released anything.  As it is, all I know them for now is their slightly goofy name.  So writing about these bands is my way of forcing myself to listen to new stuff, old stuff that passed me by, or just weird stuff I’d never usually take chance on.   So now, it’s time to give Vampire Weekend a go, with their self titled debut.

A-Punk and Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa are songs I’ve definitely heard before and I don’t hate either of them.  Like Mansard Roof, they have a similar samba feel.  Conga beats and maracas, pristinely clean guitars and a little island swing in their hips.  It’s an optimistic sound that’s hard to resist.

Then comes the strings and harpsichord of M79, all old world jaunt, like something you might see in a delightful rom com romp, set in the days of powdered wigs and sexual passive aggression.  But you know, a delightful rom com romp, set in the days of powdered wigs and sexual passive aggression, with a post modern wink to the camera.

On Campus, Vampire Weekend show that they can get a little less cute, with harder drums, driving bass and a straighter beat.  But the vocals and guitars make sure it doesn’t stray too far from the shiney, happy feel of what preceded it.  A feel that they manage to maintain for the entire album, without ever becoming repetitive, redundant or boring.  They have their thing, it’s definitely their own, and they do it well.

Twee…  Precious…  Pastel…  A lot of words sprang to mind when I listened to Vampire Weekend, but none of them with the negative connotations that usually come with these words.  Vampire Weekend the band, and Vampire Weekend the album, are most definitely twee, precious and pastel sounding, but they embrace it, and those are things that made me really like this album.

Vampire Weekend

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