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Posts Tagged ‘vampire weekend’

New Vampire Weekend Video

Vampire Weekend have released their newest video from their album ‘Contra’. The video for ‘Giving Up The Gun’ features a star studded cast in a tennis match gone wrong.

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Vampire Weekend – Contra

9.5/10

(XL Recordings)

It would be pretty fair to say that ‘Contra’ is one of the most anticipated albums of 2010. For most fans, and critics alike, it’s probably been anticipated since the release of the band’s debut album in 2008. Will they live up to the hype again? Will they flop? Will they manage to keep the sound that makes them so special, or will they end up being just another indie rock band. For a while it seemed they could quite easily be fading into oblivion, not unlike their New York hipster counterparts The Strokes, but this follow up album certainly disproves that.

It’s hard not to compare ‘Contra’ to the band’s self titled debut, but at the same time it’s so incomparable. ‘Contra’ isn’t as immediate as its predecessor though. While it certainly has some catchy tunes, it takes a few listens to really appreciate some of the songs. They’ve managed to keep their unique style of indie pop fused with African and Classical influences, but in a much more laid back and dreamy sense. It seems to be a natural evolution for the band to a much more mature sound.

Lyrically they’ve matured somewhat, as well, moving away from the college campus life to the big streets of New York (‘White Sky’), meaning ‘Contra’ is a little less preppy and a little more accessible. They’re still unashamedly high brow though, with Ezra Koenig continuing to not really make much sense at all. “In December, drinking horchata/I’d look psychotic in a balaclava.,” he muses in the chorus of ‘Horchata’.

But you really do begin to see the more serious and perhaps genuine lyrics emerging. The most unique song on the album would be the closing track, ‘I Think UR A Contra’. Soft and delicate vocals accompanied by a stunning string arrangement, it’s almost hard to believe the same man managed rhyme the word ‘horchata’ so many different times. “You wanted good schools and friends with pools/Well I just wanted you.” It’s pretty evident here that VW can do more than just churn out catchy pop hooks.

First single, ‘Cousins’ is antic and one of the few tracks on the album to feature a more traditional musical line up of guitars, bass and drums. It’s a sound that works well for the band, but does make them sound a lot more average. ‘Giving Up The Gun’ is the true highlight of the album though, with one of the best vocal melodies on the album. The instrumental texture is rich and luscious and really shows off the great musicianship of this foursome.

It remains quite simple though, if you weren’t a fan of Vampire Weekend before, it’s unlikely you will be now. There aren’t enough differences between ‘Contra’ and their debut to win over critics completely, but it’s enough to show that they’re certainly aren’t a one trick band.

Visit Vampire Weekend’s Myspace page to hear a few of their new tracks.

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So I just completed my vote for the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2009 – and you should too!

Go here if you haven’t already.

Like any year, it’s not an easy task, but I think I managed to capture 2009 pretty well in my vote…

In no partiucular order,

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