Saturday, January 9, 2010
once over: "contra" by vampire weekend, release date jan 12
i loved the first release from vampire weekend. it was a self-titled release in 2008 from the four students from columbia university. it had a sound that i hadn't heard for a long time. i'd say the closest thing i could relate it to was paul simon during his "graceland" and rhythm of the saints" days.
i'm not saying it was a classic like "graceland" is, but who knows in ten years how "vampire weekend" will be viewed.
with their new album, "contra", before pushing play i was expecting a repeat. thinking a lot more of the same. happily, it sounds like their sound in the two years since their last release has got deeper. the lyrics are a little tighter. the music's a little more open. some of the songs feel a little synth-ed up and even some dabblings in electronica. i can dig that.
if you had a chance to see these guys live at liberty hall in lawrence on 9/11/08 at their amazingly packed and sold out show you know they look like four boys plucked from cul-de-sacs in the neighboring suburbs. nice, and clean shaven, this album feels more skinny jeans and PBR friendly. it's got more of a hipster, indie vibe to it and that's fine. i mean, they did all go to columbia, i think hipster flows through the water fountains on that campus.
if the last track of the album, "i think ur a contra" is any indication of the direction of this band, you know the same way a franchise film leaves you hanging knowing there will be a sequel, vamprie weekend's third album will be their best. it's a mix of grizzly bear and the antlers. i know a lot of bands are heading down that road right now, but that road's one of my favorite streets in town.
favorite track: "horchata"
here's a video from a live show, but overdubbed is the audio from the album. this being the second week of the year, in the bleak of mid-winter so to speak, this song really makes you remember summertime. a feeling we could all use a little of in kansas city right now.