Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend

Dubbed the "whitest band" by the experts over at Stuff White People Like, these recent Columbia University alums do indeed sing about such pressing subjects as Oxford commas, albeit with the proper disdain ("Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?") But their whiteness has less to do with their familiarity with the MLA Handbook than an unrestrained admiration for blackness. From the Afro-pop guitars and soukous rhythms to name-checking Lil Jon ("First the window, then it's to the wall/ Lil' Jon, he always tells the truth"), it's clear this band knows its melanin. If that sounds a tad anthropological, the joy of this debut is that it never feels it. The Afro-pop and indie rock fusion is seamless, particularly on "A-Punk" and "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," which includes the lyrical deprecation "This feels so unnatural/ Peter Gabriel too." More than most new bands, Vampire Weekend knows how to find a song's soul without compromising its wit. Peter Gabriel would be proud. Paul Simon would be prouder.

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