‘Eclectic’ seems to be the buzz word of the moment, as the latest breed of guitar heroes eschew the usual influences for the dusty boxes kept in the back of music stores.
In this case, New York quartet Vampire Weekend display a love of afrobeat to create a sound they themselves have coined “Upper West Side Soweto”. Ahem. A lack of credibility on the African front, perhaps, but the sheer zest and joyful enthusiasm for those unusual rhythms gives the album a charming feel. Early singles “Mansard Roof” and “A-Punk” are among the highlights, both being a headlong rush down Indie Pop Avenue.
Dropping out of University to devote time to the band, Vampire Weekend are part of a new breed of, some would claim, ‘intelligent’ indie. Self-effacing lyrics, combined with a neat observing eye, make for a genuinely originally lyrical stance. “Oxford Comma” rages against “English dramas”, as the band apparently look to define an American identity. Intelligent and tuneful – yet without the stain of pretension – this album marks Vampire Weekend out as part of an exciting new breed of guitar pluckers, keen to expand minds and move feet.