Vampire Weekend

October 23, 2018

Title: “Vampire Weekend”

Artist: Vampire Weekend

Release date: 2008

Favorite track: “Campus”

 

It doesn’t feel like fall until I listen to Vampire Weekend.

Well, in Florida, I’m not sure if it ever really feels like fall. But listening to this indie rock band somehow always conjures up images of colorful leaves, pumpkins and boots. I can practically feel a light breeze just thinking about it.

I think why I equate the two is because Vampire Weekend’s music always sounds crisp and fresh, two words often associated with autumn. For me, it’s the opposite of a guilty pleasure, because I feel so justified about listening to it.

Another connection to the season is the band’s inherent school theme. When Vampire Weekend started, it intentionally established the image of the quintessential collegiate band. This school-minded persona always brings to mind the fall semester.

The band’s self-titled debut album was actually released in the winter — January, to be specific. It’s been more than a decade since then, but I still feel unapologetically connected to the record.

Vampire Weekend is one my favorite bands because it’s smart, innovative and unexpected. I love all three of its albums equally, and my heart is in a tangled web of anticipation for the fourth.

With Halloween coming up, it seems like a good time to feature a band with "vampire" in its name. Look for a feature about the band's sophomore record, "Contra," next week.

 

MUSIC

The opening song is “Mansard Roof,” and the second song is “Oxford Comma.”

A mansard roof is a four-sided roof with two slopes on its sides.

I’m fond of these first two song titles because they ooze the pretentious nature often associated with Vampire Weekend.

Being the grammar nerd I am, I love the song “Oxford Comma.” If you don’t already know, an Oxford comma is the final comma before the word “and” in a list.

In journalism, we avoid that comma like the plague.

The song itself is much about communication and language.

 

Why would you speak to me that way

Especially when I always said that I

Haven’t got the words for you

All your diction dripping with disdain

Through the pain, I always tell the truth

— “Oxford Comma”

 

Some of the songs on the record, like “A-Punk” and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” have a beach-y pop sound. They have simple lyrics and basic beats, but they’re pleasant to listen to.

“M79” is the first song I felt like really matched up to the album cover. It has a royal-sounding intro that fits the use of the chandelier. After, it transitions into a modern indie piece with orchestral instruments integrated into it.

“Campus” is my favorite. It’s this sweet-sounding jaunt about what I assume is a one-night stand during college. In a short time, it really paints a picture.

 

How am I supposed to pretend

I never want to see you again?

In the afternoon, you’re out on the stone and grass

And I’m sleeping on the balcony after class

— “Campus”

 

“Bryn” is another song I love. I’ve mentioned before how songs with names in them are a guilty pleasure. This song has a classic sound.

Frontman Ezra Koenig explores new vocal territory in “One (Blake’s Got a New Face).”

“I Stand Corrected” is a hint at what Vampire Weekend brings to its second and third albums.

I, frankly, find Vampire Weekend extremely special and different. But I do hear an eclectic mix of The Beatles and The Killers in their sound.

 

DESIGN

This album art is too well done for words, but I’ll try to use some.

The staunch white, modern typography reading “Vampire Weekend” is flawless. It’s clean and makes a bold statement for the band’s debut.

The warm orange-y tone is friendly and youthful.

I adore chandeliers. I’ve been drawn to them since I was a child. So, obviously, I’m fond of this décor being the center focus of this cover.

Lastly, I’m stunned with the use of cropping in this photo. It’s an intriguing perspective that gives you only a hit of the elegant, yet wild party going on beneath it.

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