Some bands stay in a holding pattern their whole careers. Others jerk the steering wheel hard and fly off the road. On their third album, Vampire Weekend do neither.
Vampire Weekend are Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Thomson, and Chris Baio. The guys banded together in New York City back in 2006 after meeting at Colombia University. Upon graduating, they began producing their own music and were soon singed to indie label XL Recordings. They quickly gained attention and notoriety for their unique sound - one which is heavily influenced by African popular music and Western classical; a style that the band has often referred to as "Upper West Side Sowetto Pop." The band have released 3 critically acclaimed studio albums in five years. Their debut album, Vampire Weekend, was released in 2008. It's single, "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," reached number 67 in Rolling Stone's 2007 "100 Best Songs of the Year" and Spin Magazine voted them "Best New Band of the Year." Just two years later, the band released their sophomore follow-up, Contra. The album debut at #1 on the US Billboards, making Vampire Weekend the first independent artist to have a #1 US debut without the backing of a major label.
Most recently, the band released their third studio album, Modern Vampires of the City. Recorded in New York City, Los Angeles and Martha's Vineyard, Modern Vampires of the City is a departure from the cheerily percussive, African-influenced indie pop of Contra. Rostram Batmanglij notes that the album has a recurring tension that distinguishes it from the band's previous albums: "Even if the songs are mostly in a major key, there’s something that’s hanging out there that’s a little bit dark. And I think that’s reflective of the world." Upon its release, the album debuted at #1 in the US Billboards making it the band's second consecutive #1 release. The album has also been received incredibly well on an international level. It reached #1 in the UK and is currently Top 10 in 7 other countries around the globe.
Modern Vampires of the City was released on 14th May 2013.
Bio excerpts courtesy of vampireweekend.com. Photo credit: Søren Solkær Starbird